Super-fast fibre broadband goes live in three more Lancashire communities

Bacup, Kirkham and Nelson next areas to benefit; 
Upgrades hailed by Lancashire County Council as more than 25,000 more homes and businesses set to benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out 

Super-fast broadband has arrived in three more Lancashire communities, BT announced today. 

More than 2,000 homes and businesses in Bacup, more than 380 in Kirkham and nearly 8,000 in Nelson now have access to the high-speed technology. These figures will increase to nearly 6,000 in Bacup, more than 5,000 in Kirkham and more than 15,000 in Nelson as engineers complete the local upgrades in the weeks ahead. 

This commercial rollout is in addition to Superfast Lancashire, a partnership between Lancashire County Council and BT, which builds on BT’s own commercial rollout of fibre broadband in the county so that 97 per cent of homes and businesses will have access to fibre broadband by the end of 2015. 

Today the BT investment was welcomed by County Councillor, Sean Serridge, champion for digital inclusion. 

Councillor Serridge said: “The arrival of super-fast broadband in these communities is one more step towards ensuring that 97 per cent of the county is connected by the end of 2015. 

“Good quality internet access is increasingly vital in the modern age, for businesses and individuals, and we are committed to ensuring that everyone in Lancashire can benefit.” 

More than 330,000 homes and businesses across Lancashire are already able to benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion fibre programme, rising to more than 416,000 by the end of Spring 2014. 

Mike Blackburn, BT’s regional director for the North West, said: “Our roll-out of fibre broadband continues at a world class pace in the region with Bacup, Kirkham and Nelson now benefitting. More than two million homes and businesses across the UK are already using our new fibre network. Local residents now have the opportunity to join them and find out for themselves why there’s such a buzz about fibre broadband. 

“Whatever you’re doing online, you can do it better and faster with fibre. Whether it’s shopping, downloading music and video, watching TV, social networking, studying or researching homework, once you’ve switched to fibre you’ll never look back. Outside the home, it also has huge potential for public services and city businesses. 

“Businesses working better with fibre tell us it’s helping them in a wealth of ways, from day to day activities like downloading software, collaborating with clients and moving large data files around to big business decisions like expanding the workforce or introducing better quality IT services at less cost. 

“BT is not just building a national communications network fit for 21st century Britain; we’re doing it at speed, making fibre broadband available to around 80,000 more premises a week.” 

BT’s fibre footprint currently passes more than 17 million UK homes and businesses. It’s due to pass two-thirds of UK premises – around 19 million premises – by the end of Spring 2014, at least 18 months ahead of the original timetable. 1 

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. In addition to download speeds of up to 80Mbps, FTTC also delivers upload speeds of up to 20Mbps2 — and could deliver even faster speeds in the future. 

Openreach has also started to make fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, where the fibre runs all the way to the home or business, commercially available on demand3 in certain areas where fibre broadband has been deployed, and plans to expand access in due course. FTTP-on-demand offers the top current download speed of 330Mbps 2. 

According to the regulator Ofcom, the current average UK residential broadband download speed is 14.7Mbps. 

Fibre broadband at home means everyone in the family can do their own thing online, all at the same time, whether it’s downloading music in minutes or watching catch-up TV; streaming HD or 3D movies in the few minutes it takes to make popcorn; or posting photos and videos to social networking sites in seconds. Fibre improves the quality of online experiences and supports exciting new developments in internet services. 

The benefits are also considerable for businesses, which can do much more in far less time. Firms can speed up file and data transfers, collaborate with colleagues and customers on conference or video calls or swap their hardware and expensive software licenses for files, processing power and software from cloud computing. Staff can work as effectively from home as they would in the office. 

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