Primary school in Manchester goes ultrafast thanks to grant from BT

School signs UK’s 250th BT Community Fibre Partnership contract New technology capable of delivering ultrafast speeds up to one gigabit per second

Armitage Church of England Primary School in Ardwick, Manchester, marked a national milestone when it signed the 250th agreement in the UK for BT’s Community Fibre Partnerships (CFP) programme.

The deal includes a £4,900 BT grant to help towards the cost of extensive engineering work to deliver ultrafast broadband for the school.

The CFP programme enables communities to jointly fund an upgrade to fibre broadband alongside Openreach, the local network business which is part of BT Group, if they are not included in any current private or public sector fibre plans.

Eligible communities can apply for a match-funded BT grant of up to £20,000 towards the cost of a new local fibre network, as long as the technology is capable of serving the local school.

Engineers from Openreach will install the latest Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology capable of delivering ultrafast speeds up to one gigabit per second (Gbps). The new high-speed technology will offer many benefits for the school and its pupils, including rapid downloading of education materials and seamless online streaming of videos.

Visiting the school to announce the good news, Kieran Charleson, BT’s regional director for the North West, said: “We have been working closely with Armitage Primary School to agree this funding solution to bring ultrafast fibre to the pupils and staff of the school and it’s great news that the contract, the 250th of our CFP programme, has now been signed and the service will be up and running by Spring 2018.

“We’re keen to have conversations with other schools and communities who might be able to benefit from this approach.”

Andrew Curvis, school business manager for Armitage Church of England Primary School, said: “The internet plays an important role in our school today, from students researching projects to developing new computing skills which are vital for their working lives ahead.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the benefits of the new ultrafast link to our students and staff when it goes live next year.”

Kim Mears, Openreach’s managing director for infrastructure delivery, said: “More than 100 communities across the UK are already able to access high-speed fibre broadband through our co-funded Community Fibre Partnerships scheme. We hope that the availability of these grants will encourage even more communities to work with us on bringing high-speed connectivity to their town or village.”

BT’s long term ambition is to help young people in the UK to make the most of technology through initiatives such as the BT Tech Literacy Programme, to inspire them to embrace the role technology plays in their lives.

The Openreach network offers fibre broadband access to service providers on an open, wholesale basis, so local households and businesses have a choice of many different services from more than one hundred service providers.

For more information on community fibre partnerships with BT, visit www.communityfibre.bt.com


For further information

Enquiries about this news release should be made to the BT Regional Press Office on 0800 085 0660 All news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.btplc.com/News

Notes to editors

About Openreach

Openreach is the UK’s leading digital infrastructure provider.

Its 32,000 employees are responsible for building and maintaining millions of miles of fibre and copper cables that connect every home and business in the UK to local telephone exchanges. Openreach operates and maintains this network to deliver a range of wholesale services for more than 560 retail providers, who in-turn provide telephony, broadband, TV and data services to more than 30 million consumer and business customers throughout the country.

Openreach is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of its revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom. Any company can access its products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions.

Over the last decade, Openreach has invested more than £10bn into its network and is currently building the UK’s largest fibre broadband footprint. This technology is available to more than 26 million homes and businesses, with tens of thousands more gaining access each week.

Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group. For the year ended 31 March 2016, it reported revenues of £5.1bn.

For more information, visit openreach.co.uk

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 20161, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,012m with reported profit before taxation of £2,907m.

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.

1The results for the period have been revised to reflect the outcome of the investigation into our Italian business. Detail of which is set out in our third quarter results announcement published on 27 January 2017. This financial information is unaudited.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com