High-speed fibre broadband now available to 4,400 Honiton homes and businesses

Neil Parish MP welcomes latest investment 
About 4,400 homes and businesses in Honiton now have access to high-speed fibre broadband, BT announced today. And this figure will increase to more than 5,000 premises as engineers complete the local upgrade in the weeks ahead. 

Honiton is the latest Devon town to benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out of the technology across the UK. Fibre broadband is already available in more than 20 communities in the county, such as Exeter, Exmouth, Sidmouth, Newton Abbot, Dawlish and Teignmouth. 

More than 240,000 Devon premises already have access to the technology and BT is working with public sector partners in the Connecting Devon and Somerset programme to expand coverage even further (see Notes to Editors for more details about this programme). 

Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton, said: “I very much welcome this major investment by BT in Honiton. High-speed access to the internet has never been more important whether you are a local businessperson wishing to build your company, a student taking advantage of on-line training and carrying out research or a householder making use of on-line shopping and entertainment. In today’s rapidly moving world, fast and sophisticated communications are absolutely vital. They are an essential part of future success.” 

Jon Reynolds, BT South West regional director, said: “Our roll-out of fibre broadband continues at a world class pace in the South West. More than two million homes and businesses across the UK are already using our new fibre network. 

“Whatever you’re doing online, you can do it better and faster with fibre. Whether it’s shopping, downloading music and video, watching TV, social networking, studying or researching homework, once you’ve switched to fibre broadband you’ll never look back. Outside the home, it also has huge potential for public services and businesses. 

“Businesses working better with fibre broadband tell us it’s helping them in a wealth of ways, from day to day activities like downloading software, collaborating with clients and moving large data files around to big business decisions like expanding the workforce or introducing better quality IT services at less cost. 

“BT is not just building a national communications network fit for 21st century Britain; we’re doing it at speed, making fibre broadband available to around 80,000 more UK premises a week.” 

BT’s fibre footprint currently passes more than 17 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.1 

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. In addition to download speeds of up to 80Mbps, FTTC also delivers upload speeds of up to 20Mbps2 — 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 demand3 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 330Mbps2. 

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 BT’s deployment plans are subject to an acceptable environment for investment. 
2These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary. 
3Openreach 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. 

About Connecting Devon and Somerset 
Councils across Devon and Somerset are working together to bring faster broadband to the area and deliver improved broadband to 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