Councillor explores York’s fibre broadband network

More than 75,000 York homes and businesses can now benefit from fibre broadband on the BT network; local communities encouraged to get connected

BT today demonstrated the technology behind the roll out of super-fast fibre broadband in York to Neil Barnes, councillor for Hull Road Ward.

He visited one of York’s fibre street cabinets on Hull Road to find out for himself how the technology works and why it’s essential for York’s economic future.

Cllr Barnes said: "Superfast broadband is something that many residents in Hull Road ward will welcome and I'm really pleased to see it being rolled out in the ward I represent. Improved digital infrastructure will mean residents and businesses will both benefit, providing more opportunities that help support the local economy.

"I'm pleased to be invited to this switch on to understand how the technology is helping people in their daily lives".

The new network now passes more than 75,000 premises in areas including Melrosegate, Haxby, Acomb, Dunnington, Rufforth, Escrick and Clifton. The total includes nearly 65,000 homes and business now able to benefit as part of BT’s commercial roll-out and more than 10,000 premises covered by the Superfast North Yorkshire programme.1

For York, this programme has been a tremendous success - by the end of both roll-outs the majority of York will be covered by fibre on the BT network. This will support York’s ambition to become the UK’s leading digital city.

Tom Keeney, BT’s regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, who hosted the visit, said: “It’s great that Cllr Barnes has spared the time to come and explore the inner workings of our fibre technology. BT has led the roll out of superfast broadband in the UK and, working in partnership with Superfast North Yorkshire, are playing a huge part in helping York become one of the best connected cities in the UK.

“Local people may have noticed our green street cabinets being installed. This everyday street furniture is where the magic happens. As more than 3 million UK households and businesses have discovered, fibre broadband opens up a whole new world to internet users.

“We are very focused not just on delivering the high-speed infrastructure but making sure that we fully exploit the benefits - as individuals and as a region.”

BT’s fibre footprint currently passes more than 20 million UK homes and businesses. It is expanding all the time and has now passed more than two-thirds of UK premises, around 21 months ahead of the original timetable.

Openreach, BT’s local network business, is primarily deploying fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, where the fibre runs from the exchange to a local roadside cabinet. FTTC offers download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps1 and could deliver even faster speeds in the future.

At home, fibre broadband enables a family to simultaneously download a movie, watch a TV replay service, surf the internet and play games online all at the same time. A whole album can be downloaded in less than 30 seconds and a feature length HD movie in less than 10 minutes, whilst high-resolution photos can be uploaded to Facebook in seconds.

BT’s network is available on an open, wholesale basis to all companies offering broadband services. For further information on Openreach’s fibre broadband programme visit www.superfast-openreach.co.uk


Notes to editors

1The Superfast North Yorkshire project was the first in the UK to deploy fibre broadband using Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and European Union (ERDF) funds following the signing of a £36.4m contract led by North Yorkshire County Council and BT in July 2012.

The Superfast North Yorkshire project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf

2These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

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.