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Morningside set for super-fast fibre broadband

Press Release   •   Jun 06, 2013 00:00 BST

More than 6,500 local homes and businesses to benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out

Upgrade welcomed by Ian Murray MP and Jim Eadie MSP 

Hundreds of homes and businesses in Edinburgh’s Morningside area now have access to high-speed fibre broadband, BT announced today – and more than 6,500 will be able to connect as engineers complete the upgrade in the coming weeks.

It helps take the latest total of city premises now passed by fibre investments to almost 75,000. By the end of Spring 2014 around 178,000 homes and businesses across the city will be able to benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion fibre roll-out programme.

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “Our roll-out of fibre is gathering pace across Edinburgh with Morningside the latest place to benefit. It’s good news for local residents and businesses, who 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. Try shopping, downloading music and video files, watching TV, social networking, studying or researching homework with fibre 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. 2

Jim Eadie, MSP for Edinburgh Southern, said: “I am delighted that thousands of homes and businesses in Morningside will join a growing number of people and organisations throughout Edinburgh in gaining access to high-speed fibre broadband; a major step toward the target of 178,000 Edinburgh homes.

“It is to be welcomed that businesses across the city will benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion fibre roll-out programme by spring next year. The work of BT and their local network business, Outreach, is to be commended, as their state-of-the-art broadband brings faster and more efficient internet technology into both the home and the workplace.”

Ian Murray, MP for Edinburgh South, said: “The arrival of fibre broadband in Morningside is another step forward for South Edinburgh’s digital future. The internet is an integral part of daily life for many of my constituents, at home and at work, and it’s great that local people now have the option to connect to this fast and resilient new technology. Fibre broadband can also bring new opportunities and a competitive edge to our businesses, so it’s good news on all fronts.”

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 20Mbps3 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 demand4in areas where fibre broadband has been deployed. FTTP-on-demand will offer the top current download speed of 330Mbps3. 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
2 BT’s deployment plans are subject to an acceptable environment for investment.
3 These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
4 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.