More than 15,500 local homes and businesses to benefit from BT roll-out; News welcomed by leader of Swansea Council
High-speed fibre broadband is now available to the first homes and businesses in Morriston, BT announced today.
More than 15,500 local households and firms are joining the high-speed revolution as engineers complete the local investment in the coming weeks.
The Swansea community follows Mumbles and Sketty where fibre is already available.
Swansea itself, Ravenhill and Gorseinon are also due to be upgraded and by the end of this year more than 68,000 homes and businesses in the Swansea area will be able to benefit as a result of BT’s £2.5 billion fibre roll-out programme.
BT’s commercial investment, which includes Morriston, is in addition to the announcement by the Welsh Government and BT of an ambitious project will help the Welsh Government achieve its aim of taking fibre broadband to 96 per cent of Welsh homes and businesses by the end of 2015.
The initiative will take the total amount invested in Welsh fibre broadband to around £425 million when BT’s commercial investment is also taken into account.
Ann Beynon, BT’s director for Wales, said: “BT’s fibre network is expanding rapidly across the country bringing a boost for local economies wherever it goes. Research suggests that within 15 years fibre broadband could bolster the economy of a typical town by £143 million and create 225 new jobs, 140 new start-up businesses and 1,000 more homeworkers 2.
“As more than a million UK households and businesses have already discovered, fibre broadband opens up a whole new world to internet users. Whatever you’re doing online, you can do it better and faster with fibre. 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.
“The arrival of fibre in the community can really help local firms in these economically challenging times, opening up new ways of working and speeding up vital operations, such as file and data transfers, conferencing and computer back-up, all of which may also help cut costs.”
BT’s fibre footprint currently passes more than 13 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 – during Spring 2014, at least 18 months ahead of the original timetable 3.
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 20Mbps 4 and could deliver even faster speeds in the future.
From Spring 2013 Openreach aims to make fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, where the fibre runs all the way to the home or business, commercially available on demand 5 in any area where fibre broadband has been deployed. FTTP-on-demand will offer the top current download speed of 330Mbps 4. According to the regulator Ofcom, the current average UK broadband speed is 9Mbps.
Cllr David Phillips, leader of Swansea Council, said: “This is great news for residents and businesses in Morriston.
“More people are using the internet for their daily activities and this will provide them with quicker access to services. It’ll also give businesses an advantage and will hopefully encourage others to think about creating new businesses in the area.”
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 When adding the contract area (predominantly rural premises) to the urban areas, either those already within the fibre footprint, announced as being within current commercial plans or more likely in the future to be commercially viable, this will deliver 90% of premises across both counties access to fibre broadband
2 Research taken from Social Study 2012 – The Economic Impact of BT across the UK by Regeneris Consulting – see www.btsocialstudy.co.uk for more information.
3 BT’s deployment plans are subject to an acceptable environment for investment.
4 These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
5 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.