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Super-fast fibre broadband goes live in more locations in Kent

Press Release   •   Oct 22, 2012 00:00 BST

Around 24,000 local homes and businesses to benefit from BT’s roll-out 

High-speed fibre broadband is now available to the first homes and businesses in three more Kent communities, BT announced today.

More than 24,000 local householders and firms in Swanley, Faversham and Sheerness are joining the high-speed revolution as engineers complete planned local upgrades in the coming weeks.

This latest development will help take the number of premises in Kent with access to fibre broadband to around 540,000 by the end of 2013.

The BT investment is expected to give a major boost to the local economy. A recent report by Regeneris Consulting predicted that over the next 15 years the technology could give the economy of a typical town a £143 million* boost, create 225 new jobs, 140 new start-up businesses and 1,000 more homeworkers.

BT’s local network business, Openreach, aims to make the high speed technology available to around two-thirds of UK homes and businesses by the end of 2014 1. It will use a mix of fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP) technologies. Both offer speeds much faster than those currently available to many UK homes and businesses.

FTTC, where fibre is delivered to the street cabinet, offers download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps 2. FTTP, where fibre runs all the way to homes and businesses, currently offers download speeds of 110Mbps and these are expected to be increased to 330Mbps shortly 2.

By Spring 2013 BT aims to make speeds of 330Mbps 2 commercially available in any area where fibre broadband has been deployed, potentially transforming the competitiveness of businesses.3 BT recently passed a significant milestone when it revealed its fibre broadband service is now available to 11 million premises across the UK. The company was due to pass 10 million premises by the end of 2012 so it is several months ahead of schedule.

Suggest Kent quote: “I welcome the news that BT has invested in bringing fibre-based broadband to more communities in Kent. Fast broadband is an essential tool for local businesses and will be a catalyst for the creation of new jobs by making the county an even more attractive place for businesses to start-up and invest.

“It will also transform the lives of local families, whether they’re using the technology for social networking, entertainment or education.”

John Weaver, BT’s South East regional director, said: “The advent of fibre broadband in more Kent communities is a massive fillip for businesses and households in the area. It will enrich people’s lives and bring a much-needed boost to businesses in these economically challenging times. They’re joining 11 million UK premises which are now passed by one of the world’s fastest growing fibre networks.

“Fibre broadband will offer local firms and households new ways of working flexibly and allow large data and video files to be sent and received almost instantly. Other benefits include access to high quality videoconferencing and better back-up of computer systems.

“No-one is doing more than BT to bring faster broadband to Kent, but we want to take the technology even further. Local authorities and business organisations want fibre broadband to reach as many local homes and businesses as possible and we are offering to work with them to achieve their aspirations, while progressing our own plans to accelerate speeds in general.”

At home a family could be simultaneously downloading a movie, watching a TV replay service, surfing the internet and playing games online. 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, thereby underpinning a competitive market. For further information on Openreach’s fibre broadband programme visit


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 then 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. However, Openreach is actively looking at alternative solutions for these locations.