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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Jones

BT broadband is upgrading customers’ speeds faster than ever before

THE LATEST quarterly earnings call from BT has brought some very good news to broadband customers hoping to get upgraded to the next-generation of fibre broadband speeds.

BT has published its latest quarterly results to shareholders, which revealed the speed of its full-fibre upgrade scheme. BT broadband leverages Openreach’s full-fibre infrastructure, like a number of its rivals, including Sky, TalkTalk and EE, which has now expanded to cover 3.5million premises in the UK. That’s quite an increase from the 2.98million premises reported three months earlier during the last quarterly earnings call.

According to BT, it’s now pushing out full-fibre broadband to 40,000 new premises each week. That’s a substantial increase from the 34,000 a week previously reported. That’s brilliant news for anyone who is hoping to upgrade their internet connection to the latest and greatest technology.

Fibre-to-the-Premises, or FTTP, connections are much faster than ageing copper cables, which offer slower speeds and are more susceptible to interference from adverse weather. Customer who are connected with a full-fibre cable can forgo a phone line too. Known as Digital Voice, BT says using its Digital Phones, which provides free of charge when signing-up to its fibre broadband bundles, that provides benefits such as “HD calling”.

If you’ve made a call using FaceTime Audio on iPhone, or a voice call within WhatsApp, you’ll be familiar with the improved clarity of these types of phone calls.

The average broadband speed in the UK, as reported in a study earlier this year, stands at a pretty pitiful 64Mbps. According to one report, that places the UK in 47th position globally when it comes to speed. Although the UK manages to trump 174 other countries globally, it falls way behind 46 other nations in the speed league including 21 in Western Europe. This puts the UK among the slowest in Europe when it comes to average broadband speed.

To make matters worse, Britain has lost ground since the last measurements were taken back in 2019.

With a full-fibre connection, BT can offer speeds up to 900Mbps. That should be more than enough to handle working, studying and keeping in touch with friends and family using video call software, like Zoom, as well as online multiplayer video games, streaming in Ultra HD (4K) on Netflix and Disney+, and more.

However, even that falls short of what some fresher-faced rivals can currently offer customers. Virgin Media, which doesn’t use the Openreach infrastructure, can theoretically offer speeds up to 2.2Gbps using its latest cables and router, known as the Hub 4. Zzoomm broadband, which is one of the many new full-fibre firms that have sprung up in the wake of the UK Government’s £5billion pledge to bring “gigabit-capable” fibre broadband networks across the UK by the end of 2025, offers customers an average download speed of 2,000Mbps for £99 a month. For comparison, BT charges £59.99 for its 900Mbps connection.

The news comes as Openreach confirmed the next batch of areas across the UK that could get the upgrade to a full-fibre connection. Announced last month, the next-generation of broadband internet will be coming to households in the following areas: Alloway, Amber Valley, Basildon, Bedford, Beith, Boston Spa, Brighouse, Broxtowe, Burton, Castleford, Chorley, Crownhill, Daventry, Egham, Ellesmere Port, Epping Forest, Galgate, Gateshead, Helsby, Hemel Hempstead, Herongate, Hest Bank, Heysham, Highworth, Hooton, Hounslow, Ivybridge, Keynsham, Kilbirnie, Kings Langley, Kirklees, Lambeth, Lancaster, Lewisham, Long Ashton, Maybole, Medway, Midlothian, Monmouthshire, Morecambe, Motherwell, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Newport, Normanton, Paignton, Park Street, Plympton, Prescot, Prestwick, Purfleet, Redbourn, Royal Wootton Bassett, Sandwell, South Ribble, St Neots, Stewarton, Tameside, Thurrock, Troon, Walsall, Waltham Forest, Wellingborough, Wetherby, Wheathampstead, Willowcroft, Worcester and Wraysbury.

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