Thousands of Churston homes and businesses get access to super-fast broadband

Latest investment welcomed by Dr Sarah Wollaston MP 

High-speed fibre broadband is now starting to become available to homes and businesses in Churston, BT announced today.

The sophisticated technology is being rolled out to more than 2,200 Churston premises as engineers complete the local upgrade in the coming weeks.

Churston follows communities such as Paignton, Brixham, St Marychurch in Torquay, Newton Abbot, Dartmouth and Teignmouth where the high-speed technology is already available.

Torquay town centre, Totnes, Bovey Tracey and Dawlish are among the Devon communities also due to be upgraded later this year. By the end of Spring 2014 about 297,000 Devon homes and businesses will be able to benefit as a result of BT’s £2.5 billion fibre broadband roll-out programme.

The company is also working in partnership with the public sector to reach parts of the South West that lie outside its commercial fibre broadband plans.

Jon Reynolds, BT’s South West regional director, said: “The upgrading of Churston is a further example of our continuing multi million pound investment in Torbay and the South West as a whole. More than 30,000 Torbay homes and businesses already have access to this exciting technology and this figure will have reached more than 50,000 by the end of Spring 2014.

“Whatever you’re doing online, you can do it better and faster with high-speed fibre broadband. 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.”

BT’s fibre footprint currently passes more than 16 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 – by the end of Spring 2014, at least 18 months ahead of the original timetable. 1

Jon Reynolds added: “Our ambition doesn’t stop with our commercial roll-out. The Connecting Devon and Somerset partnership, of which BT is a major partner, aims to make fibre broadband available to around 90 per cent of homes and businesses in the two counties by the end of 2016.”

Dr Sarah Wollaston, MP for the Totnes constituency, which includes Churston, said: “This is a significant step for Churston. High-speed digital connectivity is a defining factor in our long-term success. At a time when our local economy needs a much needed boost, important developments such as BT’s investment in super-fast broadband offer us the potential to create new opportunities, services and growth.”

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 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 demand 3 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 broadband speed is 14.7Mbps.

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
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.