Be rolls out over 300 exchanges

O2 announced today that Be, its wholly-owned broadband unit and one of the most innovative and technically-advanced UK broadband networks, has rolled out over 300 exchanges across the UK as of today, enabling Be to provide broadband to nearly a quarter of the population.    The company also announced that Be will launch Upload Plus, which allows business broadband customers to send data at much faster speeds.  From 4 December, as part of their standard package, Be business customers will be able to increase their maximum upload speed from up to 1.3 Mbps to 2.5Mbps using Annex M of the ADSL 2+ standard.  Currently, Be Office customers can get download speeds of up to 24 Mbps and upload speeds of 1.3 Mbps.   Be is the first UK ISP to offer this service.   Matthew Key, CEO of O2 UK said, “We purchased Be because of the quality of their technology, service and people.  We intend to continue building the Be business and proactively connecting to Be those O2 customers who want the best available broadband service.   “Our plans to offer an integrated mobile and broadband service from O2 in mid-2007 are progressing well.   These plans are driven by three aims:  firstly, to make customers’ lives easier by helping them join up their mobile and Internet worlds in a really simple way; secondly, to offer the best service quality and customer service in the market; and thirdly to give straightforward value for money.”   Be rolled out its first exchange in September 2005, and was purchased by O2 in June this year.  Be is building its own national broadband network by installing Local Loop Unbundling equipment in local BT telecommunications exchanges using ADSL 2+ technology and an automated installation process which is the most advanced technology in the market.  Local Loop Unbundling enables Be to manage the end-to-end broadband equipment and experience.   New Office customers joining Be will be informed of the availability of Upload Plus as part of the ordering procedure.  Though not all lines will qualify, it is expected that the majority of those within 3 km of the exchange, will be able to get the benefits of the higher upload speed.  Existing Office customers are to be invited to have Annex M provisioned on their line.