Prime Minister welcomes super-fast fibre broadband for oxfordshire village

More than 3,300 Chipping Norton homes and businesses to benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out 

Prime Minister David Cameron today welcomed the arrival of high-speed fibre broadband in the Oxfordshire village of Chipping Norton, which falls within his Witney constituency. 

The sophisticated technology is now available to more than 2,600 Chipping Norton households and firms – and this will increase to more than 3,300 premises as engineers complete the local investment in the coming weeks. Chipping Norton is the 19th Oxfordshire exchange to be upgraded and the third in the Prime Minister’s constituency. Witney and Carterton were enabled last year. 

Nearly 180,000 Oxfordshire homes and businesses - and more than 2.5 million across the South East – are already able to benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion fibre broadband roll-out programme 

David Cameron, Prime Minister and member of parliament for Witney, said: “The arrival of fibre broadband in Chipping Norton is a major step forward. The internet has become an integral part of daily life for many of my constituents and it is great that local people now have the option of connecting to this exciting technology. To ensure the future success of our towns and villages we need the right building blocks in place and one of these is digital technology to support our people and economy. With access to fibre broadband local firms can explore new ways of working and speed up vital operations, boosting their ability to compete. I look forward to further upgrades in Oxfordshire in due course.” 

Liv Garfield, CEO, Openreach, said: “BT’s fibre network is expanding rapidly across Oxfordshire bringing a boost for local economies wherever it goes. As more than one and a half million UK households and businesses have already discovered, fibre broadband opens up a whole new world to internet users. Whatever you’re doing online, you can do it better and faster with fibre. It’s great for education, shopping, entertainment, the social networking we now carry out routinely online and it also offers huge benefits for businesses and public services. 

“The arrival of fibre in Chipping Norton can really help local firms in these economically challenging times, opening up new ways of working and speeding up vital operations, such as file and data transfers, conferencing and computer back-up, all of which may also help cut costs.” 

BT’s fibre footprint currently passes more than 15 million UK homes and businesses. It is expanding all the time and is now due to pass two-thirds of UK premises – around 19 million premises – during Spring 2014, at least 18 months ahead of the original timetable. 2 

Liv Garfield added: “Our ambition doesn’t stop with our commercial roll-out. We’re keen to work with the public sector to extend fibre broadband to the remaining parts of the country that are harder to reach, and in many places, including Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, that’s already happening. Reaching two-thirds of the country early will mean we’re well positioned to place an even greater focus on the challenge of the final third.” 

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. FTTC offers download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps 3 and could deliver even faster speeds in the future. 

From Spring 2013 Openreach aims to start to make fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, where the fibre runs all the way to the home or business, commercially available on demand4 in areas where fibre broadband has been deployed. FTTP-on-demand will offer the top current download speed of 330Mbps 3. According to the regulator Ofcom, the current average UK residential broadband download speed is 12Mbps. 

At home, fibre broadband enables a family to simultaneously download a movie, watch a TV replay service, surf the internet and play games online all at the same time. A whole album can be downloaded in less than 30 seconds and a feature length HD movie in less than 10 minutes, whilst high-resolution photos can be uploaded to Facebook in seconds. 

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