Britain to get its own national broadband network

Britain looks set to join Australia in beefing up its national broadband network with the news that telco BT plans to connect up to 10 million homes to a fibre optic broadband network by 2012.

Britain looks set to join Australia in beefing up its national broadband network with the news that telco BT plans to connect up to 10 million homes to a fibre optic broadband network by 2012.

According to New Scientist, BT will spend £1.5 billion over the next four years to build a fibre-to-the-node (or cabinet, as they call it over there), and in some cases fibre-to-the-home network in the UK.

Homes connected directly to the network will be able to access broadband with download speeds of up to 100Mbps, while those connected via the node will have to make do with a measly 40Mbps.

Unlike Australia, the roll-out is to be fully funded by the private sector, with BT suspending a share buyback scheme so it can afford the project.

And at £1.5 billion – that’s about $3.1 billion Australian – they appear to be getting a better bang for their buck, too. Then again, given that Britain has three times our population and is about the size of Victoria, maybe the real question is why they don’t have fibre-to-the-home already.

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