More than three million North West homes and businesses can now get high-speed broadband

More than three million households and businesses in the North West can now connect to high-speed fibre broadband, BT announced today. The major milestone has been achieved as a result of one of the largest engineering projects seen in the region in recent times. Engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network businesses, have installed hundreds of thousands of kilometres of optical fibre and more than 9,000 fibre broadband roadside cabinets.

The three million total includes more than 470,000 in Cheshire; 237,000 in Cumbria; 1.1m in Greater Manchester; 664,000 in Lancashire and 567,000 in Merseyside.

Businesses in the region already benefitting from the high speeds fibre broadband brings include Wild Things, an online children’s clothing company near Chorley; Topwood Ltd, a document management and storage company near Malpas; and Leading Edge Hair & Beauty in Hyde, Greater Manchester.

Kirsty Hartley owner of Wild Things said: “Having superfast fibre broadband has definitely saved me time.It’s like I’ve got an extra day in the working week, without sacrificing precious evenings and weekends with my children. My children are into making short movies online and they’re inspiring me to have a go at using iMovie on my Mac to produce stop motion videos of my products.”

Tom Gilruth, Topwood’s managing director, said: “Since the launch of our Electronic Document Management (EDM) solution just a few months ago, we have already managed to secure three pieces of new business.Without the ability to offer the benefits of cloud based electronic document filing, which has only been possible since we have had superfast fibre broadband, we would not have been able to win this new work.”

Alan Havery, director and joint owner of Leading Edge Hair and Beauty Salon, explained the benefits it brings to his business. He said: “It’s all about the customer experience. Our customers are surprised at the speed in which they can access social media.Mums come along, confident that they’re able to relax and enjoy their treatment, whilst the kids are happily entertained for a few hours challenging other kids around the world on PlayStation supported by the superfast broadband. Not forgetting the guys; they can use our free customer wi-fi linked to the superfast broadband to access the latest choice of sports on their smartphones or tablets.”

Mike Blackburn, BT’s North West regional director, said: “Rapid progress has been made. Already, more than 718,000 households and businesses in the region have chosen to take advantage of the great opportunities offered by this exciting technology. It is providing a vital boost for communities across the North West because whatever you do online you can do it better with fibre broadband.”

Kim Mears, managing director of infrastructure at Openreach, said: “The rollout of fibre broadband in the North West represents a considerable success story following a major investment from Openreach and our public sector partners.

“The engineering challenge is huge, particularly in some of the more remote rural areas of the region. It involves the installation of hundreds of thousands of kilometres of optical fibre and thousands of fibre broadband cabinets.

“More than 90 per cent of UK premises can already access superfast broadband and we are committed to rolling out high-speed broadband to 95 per cent by the end of 2017. These are exciting times.”


For further information about this news release please contact Janet Hare in the BT regional press office on 0800 085 0660. All our news releases can be read at www.bt.com/newscentre

About Openreach

Openreach is responsible for the last mile of the UK access network – the copper wires and fibre connecting homes and businesses to their local telephone exchanges.Openreach provides communications providers with services and products associated with that network.

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 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, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services.BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m.

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