BT superfast rollout reaches half of UK

THE GOVERNMENT’S aim of providing the UK with Europe’s best broadband infrastructure was boosted yesterday when BT said its network is now available to over half of the country’s homes and businesses.

BT, which last year overtook Virgin Media as the owner of the most comprehensive superfast “fibre” network, said that the service now covers 15m premises. It said that it is now installing fibre in between 100,000 and 200,000 premises a week, and that its £2.5bn programme to cover the vast majority of the UK is 18 months ahead of schedule.

The rollout of superfast broadband has been a priority for the coalition government, which is committing hundreds of millions of pounds for superfast networks with the aim of having 90 per cent of the country covered by superfast services by 2015. Fibre networks, which generally offer speeds of more than 30 megabits per second (Mbps), are expected to add billions to the UK’s output by enabling firms to quickly download, store, send and process information.

“Our investment is helping to generate thousands of jobs and give small businesses the speeds that were previously the preserve of larger ones based in cities,” BT’s Liv Garfield said.