87% of London to get fibre optic broadband by 2011

London is set for a major fibre optic rollout as BT broadband prepares to connect the capital to its next generation network by spring 2011 - well ahead of the Olympics.

As part of its £2.5 billion investment insuperfast broadband, BT has said that a massive 87% of the capital will be able to receive speeds of between 40Mb and100Mb broadbandby early next year.

Around 100,000 homes and businesses in London already have the option to access faster broadband through either fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology, which offers the fastest speeds, or fibre-to-the-cabinet, where fibre optic cables only run as far as the street telephone cabinet.

Although this is a slower technology, it still offers speeds of up to 40Mb broadbandas well as uploads at up to 10Mb. BT is offering 40Mb broadband through its new BT Infinitypackages as the network is rolled out across the country.

BT said that its upgrades to 114 exchanges across London would offer fibre optic access to around two million homes and businesses in the city by spring 2011.

BT plans to extend its superfast network to some two-thirds of the UK by 2015 and its network will also be made available to other ISPs, allowing them to offer their own fibre packages to customers.

Ian Livingston, chief executive at BT Group, said: "London is already one of the best connected cities in the world and our investment plan will ensure that it stays ahead of the pack. Our investment will see Londoners have access to both fibre and advanced copper broadband services well in advance of the London Olympics.

"The infrastructure that we are putting in place will allow people to watch the event in high definition and engage with the Games using a range of exciting, interactive services. More importantly, the new broadband network will be a lasting legacy, enabling those living and work in London to prosper and the capital's economy to thrive well into the future."

The ISP added that more than 90% of London already had access to advanced copper connections, offering speeds of up to 20Mb.

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