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Super-fast fibre broadband goes live in Kirkcaldy

Press Release   •   Jun 17, 2013 00:00 BST

More than 17,600 local homes and businesses to benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out

Upgrade welcomed by David Torrance MSP

Hundreds of homes and businesses in Kirkcaldy now have access to high-speed fibre broadband, BT announced today – and more than 17,600 will be able to connect as engineers complete the local upgrade in the weeks ahead.

The Lang Toun follows Dalgety Bay, Dunfermline and Inverkeithing, where fibre is already available. Fourteen more Fife towns including Dysart and Burntisland will also be upgraded and by the end of Spring 2014 almost 114,600 homes and businesses across the Kingdom will be able to benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion fibre programme.

Today, the upgrade was welcomed by David Torrance, MSP for Kirkcaldy, who said it was great news for the whole town.

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “Our roll-out of fibre broadband is gathering pace across Scotland with Kirkcaldy the latest place to benefit. It’s good news for local residents and businesses, who’ll now have the ability to join more than 1.5 million others experiencing the high-speed benefits across the UK.

“Whatever you’re doing online, you can do it better and faster with fibre broadband. Tryshopping, downloading music and video files, watching TV, social networking, studying or researching homework over a fibre connection and you’ll never look back. It also has huge potential for public services and city businesses.

“The arrival of fibre can help local firms to explore new ways of working and speed up their day-to-day operations, such as file and data transfers, conferencing and computer back-up, which may also help to cut costs.”

BT’s fibre footprint currently passes more than 15 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 – during Spring 2014, at least 18 months ahead of the original timetable.1

David Torrance MSP said: “I am delighted to hear that Kirkcaldy is set to receive super-fast fibre broadband, which will benefit both residents and businesses in the area. Broadband plays a key part in Scotland’s infrastructure and it’s vital that we embrace the introduction of its super-fast version in Kirkcaldy in order for the local economy to remain competitive. By speeding up systems and communications we can help businesses grow which will in turn help create more jobs. Furthermore, local residents will be able to enjoy faster browsing and downloading at home. This is great news for the whole town and I look forward to it being rolled out across the rest of my constituency in the near future.” 

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.

From Spring 2013 Openreach aims to start to make fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, where the fibre runs all the way to the home or business, commercially available on demand3in areas where fibre broadband has been deployed.  FTTP-on-demand will offer the top current download speed of 330Mbps2. According to the regulator Ofcom, the current average UK residential broadband download speed is 12Mbps.

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

ENDS

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.