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Broadband provider BT has confirmed that it will upgrade a further 199 exchanges as part of its Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) 21st Century Network initiative.

The internet service provider is hoping to connect 18 million UK homes to its revamped exchanges, which offer 20MB ADSL2 broadband internet, by the spring of 2011.

BT's exchange upgrade programme now involves 504 exchanges, which will allow for 17 per cent of the UK to benefit from high-speed copper broadband bundles with speeds of up to 20MB.

However, BT has claimed that the exchange upgrades are not limited to ADSL2 and the firm is future-proofing them for fibre optic broadband technology, which will offer users 40MB download speeds.

The firm is also trialling a service that incorporates VoIP application support, which the firm hopes will address latency and packet loss issues.

Broadband internet provider BT recently ramped-up its fibre optic network in Fife, connecting almost 4,000 homes to the service.

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