back to article BT to push fibre to 1.5m more homes and businesses

BT has abandoned its plans to limit its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) programme to new build sites. Today, it announced one and a half million copper lines into homes and businesses will be joined by optical cables, initially offering broadband at 100Mbit/s downstream and capable of delivering 1Gbit/s. BT had previously only …


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  1. MarkOne

    Digital divide just got bigger.

    The government needs to step in with come cash for rural upgrades.

  2. Number6

    Fibre to the Cabinet?

    What would be nice is if BT could come up with a system where they could push fibre out to the street cabinet and put their ADSL equipment there. That way we could all at least benefit from a vastly reduced cable run. This would obviously benefit rural areas more, where the exchange can be 3km+ from the customer premises but the cabinet might be a few hundred feet.

  3. D@v3

    I for one

    might consider not leaving BT if they can offer me FTTP (even FTTC could be a tempting offer)

  4. Greg J Preece

    Woo yay!

    FTTP FTW! FTTC is pointless - just run it the extra ten yards. I'll pay the installation costs! Shit, gimme a cabinet key and I'll install it myself.

    Where'd I leave that masonry drill....

  5. Chimpofdoom!

    Who ever...

    Gets out to my area with a broadband connection over 4megs.. gets my money...

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Oh Deep joy

    Even more bandwidth for the ISP's to throttle for 23 hrs a day because they won't invest in upgrades themselves. My ISP has not even began to think about IPv6...

    Seriouly, I'll beleive it when I see it. Frankly, I don't think this will happen anytime soon. If it does then I'll raise a glass or two

  7. Da Weezil

    No News here....

    Just a further widening of the digital divide where those not in the densest populated areas remain victims of Btw's predatory pricing for a third rate service while BTw chase a slice of the pie already carved up by the cherry picking LLU operators... and for this I'm also to be expected to pay a surcharge on my land-line bill in addition to already paying well over the odds for a slower service? Decency prevents me from really expressing how I feel.

  8. Richie O-Matic

    Great idea

    Nice one BT. Give those that already have decent speeds even better connections and fuck the rest of us with our pitiful 4Meg connections who will no doubt have to help subsidise these upgrades.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But can the censor computers keep up?

    It's nice that they're adding Fibre to the Home, but can the layer of filtering computers, and the layer of GHCQ IMP surveillance computers keep up with them?

    And that's just the UK, I wonder how many countries filters and spying computers my connection passes through as is goes from me to abroad!

  10. Jellied Eel Silver badge

    Re: Fibre to the Cabinet?

    BT are trialling that in a couple of areas. One snag has been objections to the size of the cabinets given the intent to allow other providers kit in the cabs as well.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Good news everyone!

    At least this gets the UK moving in the right direction (a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow), and the investment, wherever it comes from, will be a boost to the technical and engineering sector in the UK who will be doing the installation.

    Yes, it would be nice to say "every home in the UK will get fibre", but that's a bit unrealistic in the current economic climate; better to get moving on a feasible and affordable upgrade project and deal with the rural areas (where I live, by the way) as and when the technology and cost issues can be overcome.

  12. Pop

    Will it be symetric ?

    If it's not going to be same speed both ways then it's still just the same crippled products they've been palming us off with since 56k modems came along.

    I want some upstream speed rather than headline grabbing downstream speeds and half a meg upload speed.

  13. Rob Beard

    Re: Fibre to the Cabinet?

    Well this is what they are doing with Fibre To The Cabinet, but with VDSL kit instead.

    Maybe it works out more cost effective long term to install VDSL kit now over ADSL kit in cabinet installations.

    I do wonder though where these 1.5 million lines will be. In cities presumably, and big ones at that?

    Heck, 1.5 million lines would probably not even cover London.


  14. sig

    Why bother with cable?

    For rural areas in particular, surely it would be cheaper for BT to install WiMAX-type equipment. With a suitable receiver on each building to connect into the existing domestic phone cabling it could also allow BT to rid themselves of the battalions of telegraph poles cluttering up the place.

  15. micheal

    They have no idea

    four times my parents were sold broadband based on their house details, twice by BT, kit arrives, doesnt work...fourth time it was BT, they were persuaded that it wasnt my parents doing something wrong but still said they'd charge £80 TO VISIT.

    Three weeks later they get a call, BT falling over to appologise but they're more than 4.5Km from the exchange, refund given (took 3 months to get the money).

    If BT who put the cables there dont know where they run, how can they say whatever percentage of people have BB and justify subsidies to connect the rest?. The Olympic cost fiasco demonstrates "rough estimate" costings, you have to give / give 10-15 billion over the 5 million quoted

    My parents aren't in outer hebrides, but a village (surrounded by vilages) in norfolk with a population of about 1200 people 8 miles from Fakenham

  16. Z80


    BT are going to do FTTC for some exchanges by next summer I think. See the related stories.

    My Dad's exchange is one of the ones being done. He was stuck at 512kbps until recently when I volunteered him up for's ADSL2 trail which has bumped his d/l speed up to ~1.5Mbps. I wonder what he'll get with FTTC.

  17. Brian Miller 1


    I also live away from the larger population centres and I have to wholeheartedly disagree with the previous poster who is "down wi dat". It will NEVER overcome the cost issues. Thats why it must be subsidised. I object to having the money taken off of us in advance.

    Do the work, then we will collect the round of subsidies and pay off the debt. This whole pay it forward and trust it will get done pisses me off. They will simply not bother. Why when you can just keep eating the cake and having it too.

    And wi-max, seriously? Are you joking yeah? Cause if not you are simply ignorant.

  18. Anonymous Coward


    Fantastic, leach all you lik...sorry? What's that? Caps! What on the data I can download?! So I have a huge fat pipe that can transfer jiga-buckets of data and I can have how little a month?

    Oh I see, I can have as much data as like if I am downloading content that I have paid BT for, but not if it's coming from someone else! Oh right, got it!

  19. Bumhug


    "My parents aren't in outer hebrides, but a village (surrounded by vilages) in norfolk with a population of about 1200 people 8 miles from Fakenham"

    Want to know something really funny, the local primary school has a nice 10mb fibre connection. I work at a high school not too far from there, we get a nice 100mb fibre connection while the local residents are lucky to get more than 1mb on adsl. Stupid amounts of money have been spent giving schools fibre connections while BT were doing this in the rural parts of Norfolk why on earth didnt they lay fibre to the cabinets

  20. Stu Wilson

    I'd just like ...

    ... something more than the paltry 2mb I get with ADSL2, my phone line is too quiet because they can't increase the gain on the line or the SNR will kill my connection.

    25 year old copper to the cabinet and a 11km loop, i'm not expecting FTTC or FTTP any time in the next 5 years becasue it just wont happen.

    Virgin have a presence in the town, but can't afford to extend their infrastructure to encompass another 1000 homes (houses 10 metres from me can get Virgin, I can't)

  21. Georgees

    @Oh Deep joy

    Name a single ISP that is thinking about IPv6...

  22. sig

    @Brian Miller 1

    Would you care to elaborate on my ignorance?

  23. Ragarath

    1 step at a time

    Okay erm did I read that right.

    BT are going to roll out FttP for 1.5 Million extra homes and then say that they do not have the cash to get rural areas FttC? Use the cash for that FttP to do FttC.

    Surely get everywhere FttC then look at FttP and subsidise as necessary. Yes they want to make money but are they really going to make more by rolling out FttP to 1.5 million extra people or by using that money to get fttC into more areas?

  24. Ian Tresman

    Light Peak

    With Intel's new Light Peak optical fiber promising 10Gb/s, scaleable to 100Gb/s, fibre to the premises should be a no brainer. See: Intel Light Peak Technology at

  25. Andy Livingstone


    Nearly as fast as Royal Mail.

  26. Jolyon

    @Brian Miller 1

    "it must be subsidised"


    Seriously, why?

    Do you want a tube line run out to your house too?

    When we finally achieve our glorious socialist paradise we can talk about equal net access for all but as things stand if you want the benefit you pay the price.

    I'm a country boy - I never expected to have all the things you'd get in a city like mains gas or sewerage or fibre-optic broadband. One of the nice things about the country is that it's not the city even if it is increasingly full of suburbanite twits who only think subsidy when it means they get city convenience brought to their rural retreats.

  27. Martin 19

    Rural areas

    How about we subsidise other services that are hard to find in rural areas? How about tackling the lack of good tube lines in the countryside? What about posh coffee shops? What about top-class theatres?

    How about the reverse, providing city centres with rural amenities? How about a few hundred acres of fields and a good motorway junction in central London?

    Wait, are you trying to tell me that the countryside and the cities are DIFFERENT PLACES and each has different advantages and disadvantages??? That its completely impractical to have the same services available everywhere? That people should live in the frigging place that gives them the best mix of the things they want/need? Craziness.

  28. Kotonoha

    Which major cities will be included?

    They better bring it to Belfast.

  29. Richard Crossley

    You chose to live there.... could always move to an area with decent connectivity, I did!

  30. TimothyB


    Andrews and Arnold provide native IPv6 on all their offerings, only ISP in the UK doing that at the moment that I know of.

    If you want IPv6, switch providers, if enough people switch the big ISPs might just take notice...

    As for FTTC/FTTP, bring it on!

  31. gerryg
    Thumb Up

    @Martin 19


  32. Ken Hagan Gold badge


    "Name a single ISP that is thinking about IPv6..."

    Andrews & Arnold (, but despite the fact that they've been around a while, I think they are still the only one. (Of course, the fastest way to learn is to post incorrect information.)

  33. Andre Carneiro
    Thumb Up

    Fibre, glorious fibre...

    Well, just been back home to Portugal to find out that Zon (one of the local ISPs) has already rolled out FTTH to approximately 1.800.000 homes and are planning another million premises to be "fibred" by next year.

    They are currently offering up to 1Gbps (Yes, that's one Gigabit) bandwidth with unlimited traffic and no traffic shaping! No, I don't quite know exactly what their business model is, either...

    God, and here I was so happy with 50 MBit

    Mind you, 1 Gbps is more than even I (a well known bandwidth tart) would know what to do with. There is only so much pr0n out there, after all....

  34. Andre Carneiro
    Thumb Down

    @ Martin 19

    Rural amenities? You mean, like water? And fresh fruit and vegetables? And milk?

    Yes, you get a lot of that ported into the city from the countryside.

    'nuff said.

  35. Chris King

    @georgees - "Name a single ISP that is thinking about IPv6..."

    AAISP already do - native or tunnelled, at no extra cost:

    Having said that, BT don't officially "support" it:

  36. Anonymous Coward

    Rural rollout my arse

    This will be a 75% London 23% South East exercise and OK, Cornwall get a look in because people from London and the South East own most of the second homes in Cornwall (coincidentally).

  37. rob hindle

    what areas are prioritised by BT?

    I'd put money on them prioritising areas already well served by Virgin - I'm very happy with my Virgin Cable TV, Phone, 20MB b/band. (Granny's watching streamed foreign TV, Kid is playing multi-user games, Wife is Video Skyping, I'm doing some PHP/mysql online development work).

    BT would love to turn up in "Virgin territory" and offer cheaper fibre on the back of Govt. subsidy - but I'd not move, I've had the dubious pleasure of doing business with BT before, never again. Virgin do suffer from a help desk staffed with morons but name any big provider of any "service" that doesn't have that problem.

    As regards "unlimited broadband" frankly I'd prefer honest metering or capping to the otherwise inevitable "tragedy of the commons", there will always be some greedy buggers crying foul if they can't spend 24 hours a day maxing out the line capacity downloading pirate movies, why shouldn't they pay per GByte?

  38. Francis Offord

    Deja Vu (again)

    I was about to change suppliers and use BT some time ago but; when I approached them about a changeover I was informed that they could not help me as I was not on their network. That was precisely the point I was attempting to make. It appears that they do not have anyone who comprehends the meaning of English. I tried explaining that I required to change over but they missed the point. I think it all comes from the problems caused by "outsourcing" to somewhere which has English as a secone language. You may pass this over to the powers that be on BT if you wish as I, as certain as day and night happens, could not get through to them. And, they call themselves British Telecom??? It would be funny if it was not ludicrous, I was willing to expand their empire buy one and they did not wish to know. Francis.

  39. Joe Montana

    BT DSL Slowdown

    First, there are a number of ISPs providing IPv6, tho it's usually not heavily advertised because few people have use for it yet...

    Andrews & Arnold (

    Goscomb technologies (

    Nitrex (

    Public Internet (

    But on another note, i used to get a sync rate of around 7mb on my line, but just recently the performance has really turned to shit... According to the BT broadband checker tools my line is unsuitable for 2mb, and "might" be able to get 1mb... A few years ago, before the adsl max products were released, i had a 2mb service which worked perfectly. Now if i were to order the same service it would be refused...

    And apparently i'm not the only one, some people with long lines that could barely get 512k before are now being disconnected totally, and many other people are experiencing massively slower sync rates.

    My line hasn't changed, i have tried new equipment and i am connected to the master socket (incidentally i wasn't connected to the master socket before when i had 7mb).

    Anyone shed some light on what BT are playing at here?

  40. Mark 133

    Not so hot in the city

    If I'm paying an extra fiddy pee a month to provide fast internet to the middle classes' holiday homes in the Cotswolds, they can bloody well come and sort out my sub-3 Meg broadband in a less-than-fashionable bit of Zone 2 London.

    My parents live in a tiny village in Cambridgeshire, and they get twice the download speed I do!

  41. Bod

    BT vs Virgin

    "but I'd not move, I've had the dubious pleasure of doing business with BT before, never again. Virgin do suffer from a help desk staffed with morons but name any big provider of any "service" that doesn't have that problem."

    Virgin in my experience has been nothing but sheer hell. BT is crap but they are bliss by comparison. Virgin hasn't changed at all over the years in all their different guises (formerly NTL, formerly CableTel). Aside from the above help desk issues, and the usual monster waits on the phone to get through to anyone (and then get cut off), they cost me many days off work in sheer incompetence sending out monkeys who couldn't do the job they were sent to do, turn up at the wrong time and even on the wrong day then blame me for not being in, and ultimately could never get me a stable connection.

    Virgin's cables are not as perfect as people make out. They are just as susceptible to signal issues as ADSL is, maybe more so especially as the run from cabinet to home is antiquated coax that has been rotting in the ground since analogue cable days. The ADSL approach is to be honest and give you what your line is actually capable of. The approach Virgin uses is to flat claim you can get the full speed, install the stuff and run away, leaving the customer to wonder what the hell is going on with connections up and down like a yo-yo and not achieving advertised speeds.

    I had a dozen or more call outs with them, but only one with BT and that was to install the line.

    Usually talk of Virgin/NTL causes universal moaning amongst colleagues and friends.

    "Never again" ;)

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