BT makes ADSL+ available to 40% of UK population

BT announced it will more than double the headline speeds for certain of its residential and business customers – at no extra cost.

BT has been running an ADSL+ trial involving some 60,000 consumers. The technology will now be offered made available to 549 exchanges, serving more than 10 million –  about 40% - of the UK’s homes and businesses. The service is on offer to businesses in the catchment areas from today, while it will be made available to consumers later in the summer.

Based on BT’s 21CN platform, the operator plans to extend that coverage to 55% of the population by March 2010, subject to customer demand.

The incumbent claims customers in the areas concerned will have download speeds of to 20Mbps and upload rates of up to 1Mbps.

BT adds that its research has shown that one of the major causes of slower broadband speeds lies in customers' home wiring. To address this, BT is set to offer the BT Broadband Accelerator that eliminates electrical interference from telephone-extension wiring, and can improve broadband speeds and reliability.

BT will be giving away the devices free to consumers and businesses that are likely to benefit as it “will mean more customers with marginal broadband speeds will exceed the 2Mbps threshold required to benefit from the full range of new internet services, something Lord Carter’s [Digital Britain] report is set to address.”

BT Retail will begin the first trials of up to 40Mbps fibre-based broadband in Whitchurch, South Wales and Muswell Hill, London this summer. Openreach is already delivering speeds of up to 100Mb/s to customers in the Ebbsfleet Valley in Kent, using fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) technology.