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BT is to further extend its fibre broadband footprint in the UK, bringing the benefits of super-fast connectivity to a further 1.2 million premises.

Some 99 new exchanges are to be upgraded before or during spring 2014, serving approximately 600,000 homes and businesses across Scotland, the Midlands, the north-east and north-west of England.

Another 600,000 premises will also gain access to fibre broadband through ‘infill’ work in previously announced areas.

The number of fibre-enabled telephone exchanges around the UK will rise to 1,700 as a result of the latest upgrade announcement.

And with BT working with a number of county councils across the UK to roll out rural fibre services using Broadband Delivery UK funding, this number will continue to rise.

Mike Galvin, Managing Director for next-generation access at BT, said the UK is making "great progress" with super-fast broadband and this latest phase of work will keep up the momentum.

"Speeds are increasing all the time with the UK second only to Japan within the G8," he stated.

"I am sure that communities across the UK will be pleased to see they are factored into our commercial plans and I now look forward to working with councils to identify further areas that we can enable with their support.”

Mr Galvin said the fibre deployment "continues to gather pace".

"Our engineers are working round the clock to hit our ambitious target of reaching two-thirds of UK premises with fibre during spring 2014 - at least 18 months ahead of the original timetable," he stated.

But Mr Galvin said the work does not stop there, as BT is increasingly turning its focus to the rollout of super-fast broadband in the UK countryside.

BT’s commercial fibre network is already the largest in the UK, reaching more than 13 million premises to date.

Upon completion, the firm will have installed tens of thousands of fibre cabinets, enabled around 1,700 exchanges and laid more than 50,000km of cables across the country.

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