Derbyshire residents urged to sign up to fibre broadband for Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching, Derbyshire County Council is urging local residents to sign-up for fibre broadband to get the best out of those gadgets under the tree.

With Christmas fast approaching, Derbyshire County Council is urging local residents to sign-up for fibre broadband to get the best out of those gadgets under the tree.

The amount of technology in our homes is increasing rapidly and those behind Digital Derbyshire, the council’s broadband partnership with BT, think faster download speeds will prove to be more important than ever before.

Many people across the county will be hoping they wake up on Christmas morning to find Santa has left the latest games console, smartphone or tablet. Others will be looking forward to going online to watch the latest TV and films, play computer games, stream music or stay in touch with family and friends through social media.

By signing up to receive fibre-optic broadband, Derbyshire residents can make the most of technology in their homes so it’s even easier to hit the January sales from the comfort of their living room or even book a holiday without leaving the house.

Councillor Dean Collins, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure, said: “Broadband providers tell us there’s still time to order faster, better broadband in time for Christmas so we’re urging people to sign-up now.

“There’s loads of really useful information about choosing a broadband provider on www.digitalderbyshire.org.uk as well as the latest on the Digital Derbyshire programme, which aims to bring fibre broadband to more than 100,000 homes and businesses by the end of 2018.”

Fibre broadband, which is now available in most areas of Derbyshire, helps make everything happen online much faster than a standard broadband connection. The technology offers download speeds up to 80Mbps.

At 50Mbps, a music album will take roughly 16 seconds to download, compared to more than three minutes on a 4Mbps connection. A high-quality film will take around four minutes to download on a 50Mbps fibre connection, compared to 50 minutes on a standard 4Mbps connection.

Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for next generation access, said: “Christmas is a time when friends and family spend even more time together than usual. Upgrading to fibre broadband not only provides faster download and upload speeds, it also makes it easier for many people in the home to go online at the same time, each able to enjoy high speed connections thanks to superfast broadband.”

Recent figures published by Openreach[1], BT’s local network business, show the amount of data being used by people using fibre broadband is increasing by 40 per cent every year.

The research also shows that between June and August this year, the average fibre broadband customer used 190 Gigabytes of data per month. That’s the equivalent of a single household watching 45 HD movies, downloading 2,000 albums each month, or somebody box-set bingeing on 17 hours of HD TV every week.

Across Derbyshire, more than 435,000 homes and businesses already have access to fibre broadband thanks to Digital Derbyshire and BT’s commercial rollout.

Some of the benefits of fibre broadband include:

  • Stream films and TV shows - with better, faster broadband you can quickly download the latest blockbuster or watch your favourite TV programme online;
  • Chat to family and friends - talk to your family and friends anywhere in the world through high definition video calling such as Skype or FaceTime;
  • Working from home - working from home can be convenient at Christmas and is often as fast and effective as working from the office;
  • Access council services - you can access a whole host of council services and information online including reporting faults or problems on our roads and footpaths, look for a job, renew library books, apply for free school meals, find a Trusted Trader and contact your councillor;
  • All at home together - with better, faster broadband the whole family can go online at the same time. You can watch online or catch-up TV, do homework, order the weekly shop and download music.
  • Download and play games online - games will run more quickly and reliably with fibre broadband.
  • Shop online – better, faster broadband can help you beat the January sales crowd or perhaps plan your next holiday online

The work taking place as part of the council’s partnership with BT is being carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business, meaning people with access to the fibre network can choose from a range of internet providers and competitive pricing.

The overall Digital Derbyshire project is being funded using £15.2 million from BT, £5 million from Derbyshire County Council, £9.7 million from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK fund, £2.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund and £2.2 million from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

To find out more about Digital Derbyshire, visit the new and revamped website at www.digitalderbyshire.org.uk.

[1] Openreach fibre broadband index - http://www.homeandwork.openreach.co.uk/fibre-index/