Investment will build county’s reputation as “a great place to live and do business”;
Eckington, Castle Donington, Belper, Allestree Park, Ambergate and Melbourne included in BT’s roll-out of high-speed fibre broadband
BT today announced a further expansion of high-speed fibre broadband in Derbyshire, which is expected to help create jobs and boost the local economy.
Another 34,000 homes and businesses in the county are to be included in BT’s £2.5 billion commercial roll-out of fibre broadband in the UK.
The six latest Derbyshire communities to benefit – Eckington, Castle Donington, Belper, Allestree Park, Ambergate and Melbourne – will be upgraded by the end of Spring 2014. The expansion also includes a substantial investment in making fibre broadband more widely available in areas which already have the high-speed technology or are due to receive it.
It will take the total number of premises with access to fibre broadband in Derbyshire to 355,000. More than 266,000 are already able to get the service in the county - and BT is keen to bring more communities within reach by working with the public sector.
Owen Moody, BT’s East Midlands regional director, said: “This latest investment is a further vote of confidence in the future success of Derbyshire. It will be an important part of our economic revival as we finally shrug off the effects of the downturn and create a better, more prosperous future.
“Fast, sophisticated communications are the cornerstone of a successful community, helping local people to build their skills and knowledge and encouraging the creation of new businesses and jobs. This exciting technology will transform on-line education, training and leisure for households and enhance the competitiveness of local firms.
“BT has now announced plans to make fibre broadband available to around 1.3 million East Midlands homes and businesses. Reaching that target will be a substantial achievement, but we want to go much further by working with the public sector to bring this exciting technology to more challenging areas.”
George Cowcher, Chief Executive of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said: "Businesses will welcome this latest phase in BT's rollout of super-fast broadband across Derbyshire, which will ensure that thousands more commercial and residential properties will have access to the very latest high-speed broadband technology.
“Having no access to high speed broadband puts firms at a distinct disadvantage to those already have access to those who do, and this development will be a major draw for businesses and organisations looking to relocate to Derbyshire, who may choose the county over other locations if it has an affordable and reliable broadband solution.
"A world-class digital infrastructure, underpinned by a high-speed broadband network, will be absolutely crucial to the future development, growth and success of not only businesses in Derbyshire, but for the county as a whole. As such, it is crucial that businesses have a level playing field to enable the county to compete with other areas of the UK and beyond."
And Councillor Kevin Parkinson, Cabinet Member Regeneration, Derbyshire County Council said: ‘The announcement that BT has added these further exchanges to their national fibre upgrade is welcomed and corresponds to our Digital Derbyshire Demand registrations, where Derbyshire County Council has been asking local residents and businesses to register their no obligation demand for faster and reliable superfast broadband services under our plans to invest nearly £15million later this year to some 180,000 homes in white areas.
We have already received over 3,000 registrations which are recorded at a post code level and will provide Digital Derbyshire with the intelligence that our private sector delivery partner will use to target our investment roll-out. I would encourage residents and businesses in the southern districts of Amber Valley, Erewash and South Derbyshire to register their no obligation demand on our County Council website, as responses in this area are lower than those received already in the North of Derbyshire.
BT’s local network business, Openreach, will be making fibre broadband available to two-thirds of UK homes and businesses by the end of 2014. The roll-out uses a mix of fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP) technologies. More than 13 million UK premises can already access fibre broadband and this number is growing by around 100,000 every week.
Both technologies offer speeds many times faster than the current UK average, reported by the regulator Ofcom to be 9Mbps. FTTC, where fibre is delivered to new street cabinets, offers download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps 1.
FTTP, where fibre runs all the way to homes and businesses, offers a variety of download speeds with the current top speed being 330Mbps1. From Spring 2013 BT aims to make speeds of 330Mbps1 available on demand in any area where FTTC has been deployed 2.
BT’s network is available on an open, wholesale basis to all companies providing broadband services so Derbyshire households and businesses will benefit from a highly competitive market.
Internet users with a fibre broadband connection can do much more online, all at the same time. A family can download a movie, watch a TV replay service, surf the net and play games online simultaneously. 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.
The upload speeds are the fastest widely available to consumers in the UK, with large video and data files being sent almost instantly and hi-resolution photos posted online in seconds. And high quality voice and video calls mean businesses can keep in touch with customers while they cut down on travel.
For further information on Openreach’s fibre broadband programme visit www.superfast-openreach.co.uk
Notes to editors
1These 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 onto businesses or consumers wishing to take advantage of the product.
Due to the current network topography, and the economics of deployment, it is likely that some premises within the selected exchange areas will not initially be able to access fibre-based broadband. Alternative solutions for these locations are being investigated.