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BT has announced the locations of the next 66 telephone exchanges set to receive a fibre broadband upgrade as part of its £2.5 billion network investment.

Almost one million homes and businesses will be covered by the next phase of the fibre broadband rollout, giving them the opportunity to take advantage of faster download speeds.

Through its deployment programme - one of the fastest in the world - BT is currently passing around 80,000 new premises each week.

The firm is aiming to deliver super-fast broadband to two-thirds of the UK population by 2015.

By the conclusion of the project, BT Openreach will have installed 30,000 cabinets, connected 200,000 distribution points, enabled over 1,000 exchanges and laid more than 50,000km of fibre.

Upgrade work at the latest 66 exchanges to be added to the rollout roster will take place over the next 18 months, with some going live by the end of 2011.

Liv Garfield, Chief Executive of BT Openreach, said the firm was making great progress in delivering super-fast broadband to UK communities.

She noted that, by the end of June 2011, more than five million homes and business premises will be able to sign up for a high-speed broadband deal delivered on BT's network.

This represents a "significant milestone" for the company, Ms Garfield stated.

"We are well on our way to passing ten million in 2012 and two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2015," she noted.

"This is the largest single commercial investment in fibre-based broadband infrastructure ever undertaken in the UK and is one of the biggest civil engineering projects running in the country at this time."

Ms Garfield conceded that there are difficulties in bringing high-speed broadband to people living and working in remote areas, but she said BT was committed to extending its network across Britain.

"The final ten per cent of the UK is going to be the hardest to reach with fixed line super-fast broadband and so we are busy trialing other technologies," she explained.

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