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Thousands more homes and businesses in Devon to get super-fast broadband boost

Press Release   •   Mar 11, 2013 00:00 GMT

Latest investment will 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 in Devon. 

Another 10,000 homes and businesses in the county will be able to get the service as a result of extra investment in communities already included in BT’s £2.5 billion commercial roll-out of fibre broadband. 

The latest expansion will take place in communities such as Sidmouth and St Budeaux in Plymouth, which have already been upgraded, and St Marychurch in Torquay, Tiverton, Barnstaple and Brixham, which are due to be upgraded later this year. 

It will take the total number of premises with access to fibre broadband in Devon to nearly 300,000 by the end of Spring 2014. About 190,000 are already able to get the service. 

Jon Reynolds, BT’s South West regional director, said: “This is another important step forward for Devon. High-speed digital connectivity is vital to our long-term success. 

“BT’s investment in fibre broadband allows communities to create new opportunities, growth and future potential. Anything you can think of doing online, you can do better with fibre broadband. It is a vital part of households and businesses making the most of the amazing opportunities increasingly offered by the internet.” 

Ben Rhodes, chief executive of the Devon and Cornwall Business Council, said: “It’s great to see the super-fast broadband footprint spreading across the region. High-speed digital connectivity is essential if our businesses are to compete effectively and we are to protect and create jobs. 

“But whether you are working in an office, improving your education at home or just wanting to download a film or programme on-line, high-speed fibre broadband is ever more essential to everyday life.” 

BT’s local network business, Openreach, will be making fibre broadband available to two-thirds of UK homes and businesses by the end of Spring 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 330Mbps 1. From Spring 2013 BT will start to make speeds of 330Mbps 1 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 households and businesses in Somerset 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 some of 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

ENDS 

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 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.