Latest investment to focus on expanding areas already included in BT’s £2.5 billion fibre broadband roll-out
BT today announced a further expansion of high-speed fibre broadband to another 700 homes and businesses in Edinburgh.
The extra investment is being made in three city communities which are already included in the company’s £2.5 billion commercial roll-out of fibre broadband.
Openreach, BT’s local network business, will carry out the work between now and the end of Spring 2014, subject to planning and technical constraints, in Portobello, Fountainbridge and Waverley exchange areas. All three have already been upgraded for fibre broadband.
BT expects this to be the final announcement expanding the coverage of its commercial programme. Future announcements will focus on areas where fibre coverage is to be expanded even further via partnerships with the public sector and local communities.
This expansion will boost the total number of premises with access to fibre broadband in the city to around 178,700, with around 85,700 already able to get the service.
BT is also working with the public sector to reach more Scottish communities. It is a partner in two multi-million pound partnerships with the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Broadband Delivery UK, local authorities and others, to help extend fibre broadband to 85 per cent of Scottish premises by the end of 2015 and around 95 per cent by the end of 2017.
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “This is an exciting time for Edinburgh’s digital future, with widespread availability of fibre broadband services fast becoming a reality for thousands of local homes.
“With today’s further fibre broadband investment in the capital, we hope even more local people will soon experience the difference for themselves – by joining more than 1.7 million UK homes and businesses already using the technology.”
BT’s fibre footprint currently passes more than 16 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.
Openreach 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 20Mbps1 — 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 demand2 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 330Mbps1.
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 These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
2 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.