BT unveils super-fast broadband plans for 3,200 more Wiltshire homes and businesses
Latest investment to focus on expanding areas already included in BT’s £2.5 billion fibre broadband roll-out
BT today announced a further expansion of high-speed fibre broadband to another 3,200 homes and businesses in Wiltshire.
The extra investment is being made in communities already included in the company’s £2.5 billion commercial roll-out of fibre broadband.
Openreach, BT’s local network business, will carry out the work in Calne, Melksham, Swindon, Toothill, Warminster and Westbury between now and the end of Spring 2014, subject to planning and technical constraints.
BT expects this to be the final announcement expanding the coverage of its commercial programme. Future announcements will focus on areas where fibre coverage is to be expanded even further via partnerships with the public sector and local communities.
This expansion will boost the total number of premises with access to fibre broadband in Wiltshire to nearly 170,000. About 147,000 are already able to get the service - and
BT is working with public sector partners in Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire to expand coverage even further.
Jon Reynolds, BT South West regional director, said: “This is an exciting time for the digital future of the South West with widespread availability of fibre broadband services fast becoming a reality for thousands of local homes.
“With today’s further fibre broadband investment in the region we hope even more local people will soon experience the difference for themselves – by joining more than 1.7 million UK homes and businesses already using the technology.”
BT’s fibre footprint currently passes more than 16 million UK homes and businesses. It’s due to pass two-thirds of UK premises – around 19 million premises – by the end of Spring 2014, at least 18 months ahead of the original timetable.
Openreach is primarily deploying fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, where the fibre runs from the exchange to a local roadside cabinet. In addition to download speeds of up to 80Mbps, FTTC also delivers upload speeds of up to 20Mbps1 — and could deliver even faster speeds in the future.
Openreach has also started to make fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, where the fibre runs all the way to the home or business, commercially available on demand2 in certain areas where fibre broadband has been deployed, and plans to expand access in due course. FTTP on demand offers the top current download speed of 330Mbps1.
According to the regulator Ofcom, the current average UK residential broadband download speed is 14.7Mbps.
Fibre broadband at home means everyone in the family can do their own thing online, all at the same time, whether it’s downloading music in minutes or watching catch-up TV; streaming HD or 3D movies in the few minutes it takes to make popcorn; or posting photos and videos to social networking sites in seconds. Fibre improves the quality of online experiences and supports exciting new developments in internet services.
The benefits are also considerable for businesses, which can do much more in far less time. Firms can speed up file and data transfers, collaborate with colleagues and customers on conference or video calls or swap their hardware and expensive software licenses for files, processing power and software from cloud computing. Staff can work as effectively from home as they would in the office.
Unlike other companies, Openreach offers fibre broadband access to all service providers on an open, wholesale basis, underpinning a competitive market. For further information on Openreach’s fibre broadband programme visit www.superfast-openreach.co.uk
Notes to editors:
1 These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
2 Openreach will levy an installation charge for FTTP on demand. It will be up to service providers to decide whether they pass that on to businesses or consumers wishing to use the product.
Due to the current network topography, and the economics of deployment, it is likely that some premises within selected exchange areas will not initially be able to access fibre-based broadband. Openreach is considering alternative solutions for these locations.
For further information about this news release please contact the BT Regional press office on 0800 085 0660. All our news releases can be read at www.bt.com/newscentre
Openreach is responsible for the first mile of the UK access network - the copper wires and fibre connecting homes and businesses to their local telephone exchanges. Openreach leads the deployment of BT Group’s £2.5bn commercial roll-out of fibre, delivering fibre broadband services to communities across the UK as well as installing and maintaining the communications infrastructure that links homes, businesses, public and voluntary sector organisations to their Communications Providers' networks.
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach.
For the year ended 31 March 2013, BT Group’s reported revenue was £18,103m with reported profit before taxation of £2,315m.
British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.
For more information, visit www.btplc.com
About Connecting Devon and Somerset
Councils across Devon and Somerset are working together to bring faster broadband to the area and deliver improved broadband for rural Devon and Somerset – the “final third” rural areas that are unlikely to benefit from commercial investment in broadband.
The Connecting Devon and Somerset project covers Devon County Council, Somerset County Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Plymouth City Council, Torbay Council, and North Somerset Council areas.
The project has secured £32 million of funding from the government agency Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and both Somerset and Devon County Councils will be putting in up to £10 million each and further funding from Bath and North East Somerset Council brings the public sector total close to £53 million. With the £41 million additional investment from BT, Connecting Devon and Somerset is now a £94 million project.
For more information, visit www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk