Technology milestone welcomed as major boost for the development of Birmingham

Businesses urged to embrace new technology as fibre broadband becomes available to more than 300,000 homes and businesses in the city 

More than 300,000 businesses and residents in Birmingham now have access to high-speed fibre broadband, BT confirmed today.

The milestone has been achieved as part of a £2.5 billion rollout programme by Openreach – BT’s local network company – which is making high-speed fibre
optic broadband available to two-thirds of the UK’s homes and businesses.

Today’s development was welcomed by the city’s most influential marketing bodies, Marketing Birmingham, which operates the city’s inward investment
programme, Business Birmingham.

Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, said: “Companies across all sectors rely on the best possible infrastructure – from comprehensive transport
links to fast digital connections – to operate as effectively as possible. Birmingham’s network of high-speed fibre broadband, introduced by Openreach, demonstrates
how the city and its partners are creating the ideal environment for ambitious firms looking to grow.

“This improved digital connectivity, combined with new developments such as the transformation of New Street Station, is establishing Birmingham as a highly
competitive business destination now and into the future.”

Mike Cook, BT’s regional director for the West Midlands, said: “As a key employer in Birmingham, we can see how faster fibre broadband is transforming the
way people communicate – in the office, on the move and at home.

“It has huge potential for public services and local firms. Businesses tell us it’s helping them in many 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.

“And it’s not just businesses which are benefiting. At home, whatever you’re doing online, you can do it better and faster with high-speed fibre broadband.
Whether it’s shopping, downloading music and video, watching television, social networking, studying or researching homework, fibre is improving the way people
communicate and do business.”

Unlike some other network companies, Openreach offers fibre broadband access to all service providers on an open, wholesale basis, with more than 140
communications providers now offering fibre broadband in the UK, giving local people real choice and guaranteeing competitive prices.
People can enjoy download broadband speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps*.

Notes to Editors
* These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
In addition to this commercial rollout, BT is also a partner in a number of multi-million pound public-private sector high-speed broadband projects across the West Midlands. These include the Black Country Broadband Project and the CSW Broadband partnership, which includes parts of Solihull.

Issued by the BT regional press office.