No Drama as Superfast Broadband Arrives at One of the UK's Most Historic Locations

One of the UK’s most iconic locations – the Royal Crescent at Bath – has joined the superfast broadband revolution as a result of a successful project between the local community and BT.

August 7, 2015


Royal Crescent in Bath included in fibre broadband rollout due to co-funding deal between local residents and BT

One of the UK’s most iconic locations – the Royal Crescent at Bath – has joined the superfast broadband revolution as a result of a successful project between the local community and BT.

Local residents joined together to work with BT’s local network business, Openreach, after it became apparent that for engineering and commercial reasons it was not viable to include the area around the Royal Crescent in the rollout of fibre broadband in the city.

The project means that local residents now have access to superfast broadband speeds of up to 80Mbps*, which is many times faster than previously experienced. The new network is available on an open, wholesale basis to all service providers so local residents can benefit from competitive pricing and products from a wide range of companies offering fibre broadband.

Colin Clarkson–Short, chairman of the Royal Crescent Society, said: “This is a vital step into the future for an historic location, which is famous throughout the world.Local residents are keen to use superfast broadband for a whole range of reasons, such as entertainment, business and learning.

“Previously, we got significantly slower speeds, which prevented us making the most of being online. When we realised that we would not be included in existing superfast plans we got together as a community to work with BT to solve the problem. It was a great example of the local community working together.”

The superfast broadband initiative, which involved the local community co-funding with Openreach the cost of a superfast broadband cabinet and cabling, was the latest successful project in which local residents in the RoyalCrescent and surrounding areas have got together to improve the locality.

For example, they have also been involved in the restoration of the railings around the lawn of the crescent and are now raising funds to improve the cobbled paving in the road in front of the crescent.

The Royal Crescent is one of the most filmed locations in England. “We have filming taking place here just about every week for travel programmes, news programmes, TV dramas and even major films, such as The Duchess with Keira Knightley,” said Colin Clarkson–Short.

Paul Coles, BT South West regional manager, said: “We were very pleased to be able to work together with local residents to find a superfast broadband solution for this particular area in Bath. More than 34,000 households and businesses served by the main telephone exchange in Bath now have access to high-speed fibre broadband as well as dedicated Ethernet services, offering speeds up to 10 Gigabits per second, through BT’s commercial investment in the city. However, this particular area posed additional engineering and commercial challenges and so a partnership approach was needed.”

The new cabinet, in Upper Church Street, serves not only the Royal Crescent but also local businesses and residential customers in the surrounding area, including Brock Street.

It is the second deal announced in recent months in which local residents in the Bath area have worked with Openreach to get superfast broadband. In May, the people of the tiny village of Claverton, just outside Bath, also celebrated the successful completion of a similar co-funding project.

Openreach is investing more than £3 billion on rolling out fibre broadband across the UK either through its own commercial programme or by working with the public sector to make the high-speed technology available in areas which fall outside the private sector’s plans. It is a major partner in the Connecting Devon and Somerset programme, which is rolling out fibre broadband in more challenging areas in the two counties.


For further information please contact the BT Regional Press Office on 0800 085 0660 or e-mail jason.h.mann@bt.com. All our news releases can be found at www.btplc.com/news

Notes to Editors

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