Over 150,000 Northern Ireland homes and businesses make the switch to fibre broadband

Official figures released this week have revealed that over 150,000 homes and businesses across Northern Ireland are now connected to high speed fibre broadband. Dundrum based stove suppliers and fitters, County Down Stoves and Flues, which employs four fulltime staff, were announced as the 150,000th customer to make the switch according to the information released by BT. 

David and Wendy Campbell owners of County Down Stoves and Flues, outlined their reasons for upgrading their internet service to fibre broadband. David explains, “For us, the internet is an essential part of how we do business. We want to be able to provide product information on our website, communicate with customers on Facebook, in addition to regularly accepting and sending large image files with architects and clients from across the province and further afield. We also offer free wi-fi to all visitors at our Downshire tea rooms which make up an integral part of the unique experience at our premises. 

“Since installing fibre broadband we have been hugely impressed by the increased speed of our internet connection. Fibre means that we don’t have to travel out to customers’ houses to get images and information about their proposed installation as much. With faster upload and download speeds we can now share customer photos, house designs and even walk-through animation files so much faster – saving us time and money. As chimney and flue specialists in the province, this helps us to improve our customer service, as it ensures that we can quickly send our clients accurate costs and communicate easily with them throughout the planning process.” 

Frank McManus, BT’s Head of Wholesale Sales and Service added, “To reach 150,000 connections at this stage in our fibre journey is a strong milestone and demonstrates that Northern Ireland homes and businesses are embracing our leading-edge fibre infrastructure, which remains ahead of most major European countries. For business owners in particular, the opportunities to be innovative and enhance current service offerings are endless as the Campbells have seen already following their company’s recent switch to high speed fibre broadband.” 

Fibre broadband uses the latest fibre optic technology (known as fibre to the cabinet, or FTTC) to greatly increase broadband speeds by replacing a section of the copper network with superfast fibre optic cable. The result is download speeds of up to 80Mbps, and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps. 

Northern Ireland’s fibre broadband network is open access, meaning that other internet service providers can use the network to provide competitive and innovative services to their customers. Currently 24 internet service providers are using the network, delivering download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps. For more information on fibre broadband, availability, benefits and a list of providers, visit www.nibroadband.com.