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Cheltenham leads the way as Openreach announces more Ultrafast broadband pilot areas

Press Release   •   Nov 29, 2016 10:55 GMT

People living in Cheltenham will be amongst the first in the UK to benefit from the new Ultrafast broadband technology being developed by Openreach, BT’s local network business.

The company recently announced Cheltenham as a pilot location for its new Ultrafast technology, known as G.fast, which provides download speeds of up to 330Mbps – more than 10 times the UK national average.

Openreach plans to make G.fast available to more than 10 million UK homes by the end of 2020, and news of the pilot has been given a warm welcome by Cheltenham Borough Council.

Thousands of premises in Cheltenham will be given access to the technology during 2017 with details about exactly where and when to be published shortly.

Steve Jordan leader of Cheltenham Borough Council said “We welcome this exciting news that Cheltenham has been chosen as one of the first pilot areas in the country for Openreach’s new Ultrafast broadband. Cheltenham’s importance as a digital hub continues to grow, being at the forefront of new technology advances. We look forward to businesses and residents being among the first to enjoy the benefits of this during 2017.”

Clive Selley, Openreach’s chief executive, said: “The UK already leads the way when it comes to superfast broadband. More than nine out of ten homes and businesses already have access to superfast speeds with another 20,000 more premises being enabled each week, and we’re working hard to reach the rest, as well as starting to roll out Ultrafast speeds.

“I’m delighted Cheltenham will be one of the first locations to get Ultrafast speeds using G.fast technology. It’s a technology we’ve chosen because it enables us to get an affordable Ultrafast service to as many people as possible in the fastest possible time.”

Following successful technical trials in Swansea (along with Huntingdon and Cherry Hinton in Cambridgeshire and Gosforth in Newcastle) Openreach has announced a total of 17 pilot areas, including Cheltenham, to reach around 140,000 homes and businesses in 2017.

Openreach has already made fibre broadband available to around 337,000 homes and businesses across Gloucestershire, through a combination of the company’s investment and public-private sector partnerships.

Across the UK, more homes and businesses are now using superfast broadband than in Germany, France, Italy or Spain, and the UK outperforms the EU’s five largest economies on measures such as availability, speeds and take-up according to Ofcom[1].

You can find out more about G. fast at openreach.co.uk/ultrafast.

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For further information

Enquiries about this news release should be made to Emma Tennant in the BT regional press office on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.com Twitter: @EmmaTennantBT

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About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services.BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com

About Openreach

Openreach is responsible for the last mile of the UK access network – the copper wires and fibre connecting homes and businesses to their local telephone exchanges. Openreach provides communications providers with services and products associated with that network.

[1]**Ofcom’s European Broadband Scorecard shows the UK is ranked as leader of the five major EU economies - France, Germany, Italy, Spain - on a range of independent broadband measures