BT basement broadband to solve inner city fibre deployment problems

ByJohn Barker
City of London

BT has successfully trialled a new way of deploying fibre optic broadband that could help more inner city homes and businesses get it. ‘Fibre-to-the-basement’ provides fibre through the basement of buildings, making it easier to provide in such areas.

The telecoms leviathan has used the method to improve the broadband of over 200 homes in the Middlesex Street Estate in the City of London, as well as that of 50 small and medium-sized businesses at 65 London Wall. These premises now get download speeds of up to 80Mb, up from up to 20Mb previously.

BT has been criticised in the past for not providing faster internet access to premises in the City of London, but this new method of deploying fibre could solve the problem.

Joe Garner, CEO of Openreach, the division of BT that manages the national communications network, said: "City-centre locations present unique challenges when it comes to upgrading consumer broadband. For example, there is less room for us to install a fibre cabinet on the pavement, and it is often harder to get permission to close roads to do the work."

BT are hopeful fibre-to-the-basement will be a practical solution for future roll-outs as it continues its programme of providing fibre in inner city areas, rural communities and other hard to reach places in the UK.

"We are optimistic that this new solution will prove that fibre broadband can be installed into building basements quickly, smoothly and economically. It could also have the added benefit of being less disruptive for our customers and the general public," Garner added.

The government, in partnership with BT, is aiming to ensure 95% of the UK can get fibre optic broadband by 2017. To find out if you can get it, just pop your postcode into an availability checker like the one on our homepage.

Sources: The Inquirer, V3.co.uk

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Topics: Fibre optic BT