28
July
2015
|
08:40
Europe/Amsterdam

Superfast broadband is key to economic growth of the West Midlands, says BT's new regional director

Summary
“Embracing new technology and promoting innovation is vital for everyone” – Colin Bannon

“Embracing new technology and promoting innovation is vital for everyone” – Colin Bannon

Maximising the benefits of superfast broadband and other technologies is key to driving the future economic growth and success of the West Midlands, BT’s new regional director said today.

Colin Bannon has been appointed BT’s regional director for the West Midlands, where the company employs more than 6,800 people.

His key aims include making faster fibre broadband as widely available as possible - through BT’s own commercial investment and its partnerships with the public sector – and encouraging and helping businesses and communities to flourish through better use of technology.

Colin said: “Technology is developing at such a pace it’s important that no one gets left behind. Faster fibre broadband is a vital tool in helping companies to become more competitive and efficient, as well as saving them time and money.

“At home, the internet is also touching our lives in new and exciting ways. People can use fibre broadband to access on-line services and share information faster than ever before, as well as download music and films more quickly.

“Alongside BT’s commercial roll-out - which will enable more than 1.7 million of the region’s homes and businesses to access faster fibre broadband - the company is also an investing partner in seven public-private sector partnerships across the West Midlands, which are working hard to bring faster fibre broadband to parts of the region where the technical and economic challenges are greater.”

These partnerships are part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme and will bring an additional 400,000 premises within reach of high-speed broadband in parts of the Black Country, Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Telford and Wrekin, and Worcestershire.

Colin added: “We have made excellent progress, but there is still more to do to ensure everyone in the region – whether it’s small businesses, homeworkers, families and other residents – is seizing the benefits of the new technology.”

Colin, from Leamington Spa and based in Birmingham, who has worked for BT for more than 10 years, brings with him a wealth of experience.

Alongside his regional director role, Colin is chief technology officer for BT Wholesale, heading up the team responsible for helping to shape BT’s strategy and predict technology trends and future use.

In April, Colin was named as one of the 50 CTOs to watch by Global Telecoms magazine. This recognition highlights Colin’s expertise in designing, deploying and running next generation networks, as well as his background in strategy, architecture, professional services and technology.

Although based in the West Midlands, Colin’s work involves regular trips to BT’s research hub at Adastral Park, in Suffolk.

Colin said: “The West Midlands region is an engine for growth and innovation and I want BT to play an even greater role in moving those ambitions forward.

“Whether it’s driving the roll-out and take-up of faster fibre broadband, or as a major employer, using our skills and expertise to inspire innovation, BT has an important part to play.

“When 1,500 internet experts were asked recently about the future of the internet, there was general agreement that growth would continue, but that in the next decade the internet will become like electricity – less visible but more important and embedded in everyday life.

“The Digital Life at 2025 report also noted that most people are not yet noticing the profound changes today’s communications networks are already bringing about. Experts suggested these networks will have an even greater impact in the future, bringing sweeping change in areas such as healthcare and education. None of this would be possible without access to high-speed internet services.”

Colin’s wife, Emma, also works for BT, and they have a six-year-old son. Colin is the vice chairman of the Old Leamingtonians Rugby Club and is a volunteer for Action for Children and Barefoot Computing, an initiative to improve computer and IT literacy in schools.

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Issued by the BT regional press office. For more information please contact Emma Tennant on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.com

All news releases can be accessed at: http://www.btplc.com/News

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 more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international