Super-fast fibre broadband goes live in Cross Hills

More than 4,500 local homes and businesses to benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out; news welcomed by Julian Smith, MP 

High-speed fibre broadband is now available to the first homes and businesses in Cross Hills, BT announced today. 

More than 4,500 local households and firms are joining the high-speed revolution as engineers complete the local investment in the coming weeks. 

Cross Hills follows other locations, such as Filey, Thirsk and Scarborough where fibre is already available. 

Starbeck and West Ayton are also due to be upgraded and by the end of Spring 2014 more than 172,000 homes and businesses across North Yorkshire will be able to benefit as a result of BT’s £2.5 billion fibre roll-out programme. 

BT is also working in partnership with the public sector to reach parts of North Yorkshire that lie outside its commercial footprint. 

Superfast North Yorkshire, an ambitious partnership led by North Yorkshire County Council and BT, aims to give 90 per cent of North Yorkshire’s homes and businesses access to fibre broadband by the end of 2014 1. 

North Yorkshire is the first county in the UK successfully to deploy Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds 2. This, alongside ERDF funding, will be used to extend the roll-out of fibre broadband across the county. The project will reach those areas outside of BT’s commercial roll-out using a partnership approach to ensure all communities have access to the fastest possible broadband speeds. 

Tom Keeney, BT’s regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “BT’s fibre network is expanding rapidly and bringing a boost for local economies wherever it goes. Research suggests that within 15 years fibre broadband could bolster the economy of a typical town by £143 million and create 225 new jobs, 140 new start-up businesses and 1,000 more homeworkers 3. 

“As more than 1.5 million 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 Cross Hills 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. 4 

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 5 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 demand5 in areas where fibre broadband has been deployed. FTTP-on-demand will offer the top current download speed of 330Mbps6. According to the regulator Ofcom, the current average UK residential broadband download speed is 12Mbps. 

Julian Smith, MP for Skipton and Ripon, said: “I am pleased to hear that superfast broadband is coming to Cross Hills. High-speed digital connectivity is a defining factor in our long-term success which is why I have been pushing so hard to make it a reality in my constituency. Important developments, such as the investment we are seeing in broadband in North Yorkshire from BT, the Government and North Yorkshire County Council, offer us the potential to create new opportunities, services and growth.” 

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 
1The majority of North Yorkshire homes & businesses will have access to speeds of at least 25Mbps by the end of 2014. 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 80 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps and could deliver even faster speeds in the future. 
ISPs may use different speeds in their advertising. Individual line speeds will depend on network infrastructure and the service chosen by the ISP 
2 The Superfast North Yorkshire project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf
3 Research taken from Social Study 2012 – The Economic Impact of BT across the UK by Regeneris Consulting – see www.btsocialstudy.co.uk for more information. 
4 BT’s deployment plans are subject to an acceptable environment for investment. 
5 These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary. 
5 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.