Tatton MP George Osborne has begun campaigning to get residents and businesses in Knutsford on BT's priority list for its £1.5bn next generation fibre optic (FTTP/FTTC) broadband rollout (original news). The services could bring initial speeds of 'up to' 100Mbps to the area, theoretically rising to 1000Mbps in the more distant future:
"I've written to BT and I want to know when they are going to connect business and residents in Tatton," said Osborne to the Nutsford Guardian. "I remember when I was first elected and broadband was an issue."
"I campaigned as hard as I could to get it extended as far as possible and this is the next step. I'm worried that they might focus on big cities and places in this area might be left behind."
BT has responded to give the shadow chancellor's approach a cautious welcome, warning that enthusiasm alone is not enough to influence their decisions and that investment would be dependent upon business support in the area.
The first pilots of BT's next generation 'Fibre to the Cabinet' (FTTC) broadband services, which will initially offer speeds of 'up to' 40Mbps, will take place at two exchanges in Muswell Hill (London) and Whitchurch (South Glamorgan) next summer.
BT hopes to cover as many as 10 million homes by 2012 with its new services and Point Topic recently estimated that uptake would hit 4m British homes and businesses by late 2013. Meanwhile faster up to 24Mbps ADSL2+ based broadband products are slowly coming on tap over existing infrastructure around the country.
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