Major UK telecommunications provider, BT, has said that it intends speeding up its programme of nationwide fibre-optic cable installation, in a move likely to result in up to two-thirds of the country gaining access to superfast broadband a year ahead of schedule.
520 additional engineers will be deployed in order to help ensure that the new target of two-thirds completion is met by 2014 rather than the original target of 2015.
The company is also set to increase its top broadband speed to 300 mbps by next spring.
Currently, BT’s high speed broadband service has already been made available to six million commercial and residential premises in the UK. A further 4 million premises are now due to share in this access by late 2012.
BT is said by many commentators to be accelerating its cable laying programme as a result of fierce competition from other fibre-optic cable network providers in the UK, including Virgin and Fujitsu from Japan.
BT’s announcement is good news for the UK government, which has set itself a target of 2015 for providing first class high speed broadband capacity for the vast majority of homes and business across the country, ahead of other European states.
The drive to achieve the best broadband services in the UK is based on an increasing awareness of the importance of the technology in helping to provide homes and businesses with the most effective channels for commerce and communications.
For businesses in particular, high speed broadband is seen as essential for competing effectively in the modern commercial world; not only through the efficient management of e-commerce and electronic mail, but also through the adoption of crucial value added services that high speed broadband can enable, including internet protocol (IP) telephony, and business VoIP (voice over internet protocol).