14
September
2015
|
10:56
Europe/Amsterdam

BT announces investment to expand fibre broadband rollout in London Borough of Wandsworth

Summary
BT today announced plans for an expansion of high-speed fibre broadband in the London Borough of Wandsworth.

More than 12,000 further local homes and businesses will be able to benefit from new investment

BT today announced plans for an expansion of high-speed fibre broadband in the London Borough of Wandsworth.

Openreach, BT’s local network business, will make fibre available to an additional 12,000 localhomes and businesses in the next two years, taking the company’s total coverage for fibre in the borough to more than 130,000 premises.

The new investment in Wandsworth is part of a city-wide programme that will increase fibre coverage in every London borough. The roll out will increase overall fibre availability across London, taking all networks into account, from around 90 per cent[1] to around 95 per cent of premises. The Openreach fibre network is already the largest in London, covering nearly three million homes and businesses.

BT is spending more than £3 billion on Openreach’s deployment of fibre across the UK, and the work in Wandsworth is part of an additional £50 million that the company earmarked for UK cities last year.

London is already one of the best connected cities in the world, with every business in the capital able to access speeds of 1Gb/s and above through special high capacity ultrafast dedicated lines. An independent study* already rates London second only to Seoul as the best in the world for broadband quality.

Joe Garner, chief executive of Openreach, said: “Openreach engineers have been working flat out to bring fibre to more than 23 million homes and businesses across the country in record time - and the number is continuing to grow rapidly. Our investment has helped make the UK’s broadband infrastructure among the best in Europe.

“Installing fibre in urban areas can be challenging, but thanks to new techniques and extra investment we will now be able to reach hundreds of thousands of additional homes and businesses across London.”

Councillor Ravi Govindia, Leader of the London Borough of Wandsworth, added: “The council’s research shows high demand for fibre optic broadband right across the borough and BT Group’s latest investment is a very important step in the right direction. Our goal is for every corner of Wandsworth to have access to the latest generation of ultra-fast, dependable broadband services which mean local residents and businesses can make full use of the web.”

BT’s new investment is focusing on three areas:

  • Upgrading city cabinets that weren’t part of the original commercial plans due to technical challenges or local planning restrictions
  • Rolling out ‘fibre to the remote node’ (FTTRN) and to fibre broadband cabinets that serve multi-dwelling units, such as apartment blocks
  • Continuing to ensure the new fibre network is available on an ‘equivalent’ basis to all internet service providers that use the Openreach network. That means companies competing with BT Consumer and BT Business can deliver faster broadband to their customers, paying Openreach the same as BT’s own divisions.

Openreach’s fibre network is open to all broadband service providers on equal terms, ensuring that businesses and consumers benefit from intense competition, a wide choice of supplier and low prices.

Ends

*PwC’s “Cities of Opportunity 6” report, page 23

Notes to editors

[1] Figures based on Ofcom’s “Infrastructure Report 2014” data.

Please note: Openreach’s fibre broadband network will increase to around 90 per cent of premises in London over the next two years. The remainder will be covered by alternative networks. Business grade fibre services are available to 100 per cent of premises in London.

FTTRN involves the fibre optic cable being taken to a significantly smaller remote cabinetand these can be positioned on nearby telegraph poles or inside manholes even closer to homes.