BT has announced plans for the upgrading of 98 exchanges across the UK with superfast broadband cable by the end of 2013, as part of its on-going £2.5 billion national implementation programme.
The confirmed areas will be provided with access to the high speed network via a combination of fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP) connections.
The announcement means that yet more homes and businesses in the UK will be able to benefit from both faster internet speeds and increased internet capacity.
The rollout of superfast broadband is viewed as particularly crucial for businesses, with quality access to the web generally considered essential for effective marketing, customer service, and communications in general.
Superfast broadband is also recognised as providing businesses with the capacity to adopt key value added services such as internet protocol (IP) telephony and business VoIP (voice over internet protocol); either directly on the premises or via a host business VoIP provider or VoIP reseller.
IP telephony and business VoIP have increased in popularity in recent years, largely down to their permitting greater control and flexibility over business phone systems, as well as providing increased scope for remote working and sophisticated call re-routing. They can also in many cases help to reduce a business’s annual phone costs.
Whilst however the proposed expansion of the BT broadband network has been generally welcomed in the areas concerned, some frustration has been expressed over the fact that some outlying locations might still miss out.
Fenland District Council’s leader, Councillor Alan Melton, for example, commented on the ‘excellent news’ that March, Whittlesey and Wisbech are to be provided with superfast broadband access; describing the development as a ‘big step forward’. He added however:
‘…there is still a need to secure better provision for people living out in our villages, many of whom have comparatively poor access to services and information.’