The Bradwell Abbey exchange is one of two locations chosen by BT’s local access network division Openreach to trial the new fibre-to-the-premise technology in brownfield sites.
 
The pilot schemes are due to begin in January. BT is already delivering 100Mb/s broadband to a housing development in Ebbsfleet, Kent, and expects to be providing similar-speed delivery to 20,000 premises in Milton Keynes by March.
 
The trial forms part of BT’s plans to deliver super-fast broadband speeds to ten million premises by 2012. The company has already pledged to make such services available to 1.5 million homes by next summer.
 
David Campbell, Openreach’s managing director of next generation access, said: “This trial is crucial for informing our plans to consider deploying FTTP alongside fibre-to-the-cabinet.
 
“Our FTTP deployment in Ebbsfleet has allowed us to learn a great deal about rolling out fibre directly to homes in greenfield areas and we believe that the technology has huge potential for brownfield areas too.”
 
Milton Keynes Broadband Action Group has welcomed the trial. It believes that improved broadband would boost inward investment opportunities.
 
Mr Campbell said: “We have worked closely with communications providers and regional development authorities in selecting these sites for the FTTP brownfield trial and I would like to encourage as many communications providers as possible to get involved in the trial.”
 
Milton Keynes Council has been active in promoting improvements to the telecommunications networks in Milton Keynes.
 
Council leader Cllr Sam Crooks said: “This is great news for Milton Keynes on the cutting-edge of technology. It is hoped that these trials will be successful and be rolled out across the city. This ties into the ICT Communications Strategy we are currently planning borough-wide”.
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