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BT boosts broadband speeds for SME and consumer customers

Telco is increasing the broadband speeds it makes available for small businesses and consumer customers using its fibre-to-the-premises network

BT has doubled the potential fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) broadband speeds that it makes available to small and medium enterprise (SME) customers taking its 38Mbps Business Infinity product, giving them access to speeds of up to 76Mbps.

The automatic upgrade will apply to 46,000 SMEs around the country, and BT said this meant they would now receive some of the fastest broadband speeds available to business users in the country.

With research showing that most SMEs believe they will need faster speeds from their provider in the next few years, and more than three-quarters saying they could not operate for more than 24 hours without internet access, BT’s UK managing director of SMEs, Mike Tomlinson, said the operator was doing its utmost to help them work “smarter and faster”, particularly as more take up cloud-based services.

“By making 76Mbps our new standard business fibre broadband speed, we are ensuring brilliant connectivity at a speed that will enable them to grow and thrive,” he said.

The telco will now offer the 76Mbps connection as a base level standard for Business Infinity users, which means it will be available to new, as well as existing, customers.

Meanwhile, BT has continued its ongoing pivot towards fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband, having announced a major ramp-up of its ultrafast network build earlier this autumn.

Until recently, the economics of broadband roll-out have tended to favour slower FTTC services, which use copper wiring to bridge the gap to the customer’s property. This has led to much criticism of BT.

Read more about broadband roll-out

However, through its infrastructure unit Openreach, it has already built the UK’s largest FTTP network, passing more than 327,000 homes and businesses, and it will now double the speeds available on the network from 330Mbps to up to 1Gbps.

This service will be available to BT customers on the FTTP network, and from early December two new wholesale products will be made available to other communications service providers (CSPs) offering speeds of up to 550Mbps and 1Gbps.

“We are committed to taking the UK from being a superfast to an ultrafast nation, and while we are extending the reach of our FTTP network, we are also boosting the speed and variety of the services we can offer over it,” said Openreach CEO Clive Selley.

“We have been working closely with our wholesale CSP customers to develop these new ultrafast products, and we expect the new higher-speed services will be of particular interest to small and medium businesses,” he added.

The FTTP network upgrade forms part of a wider plan to take ultrafast broadband speeds to 12 million premises in the UK by the end of 2020, of which 2 million will be served by FTTP and 10 million by G.fast.

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