news welcomed by Cardiff Council
High-speed fibre broadband is now available to more than 100,000 homes and businesses in Cardiff, BT announced today.
The milestone was reached as the roll-out continues to gather pace with the Roath area the latest community to go live. More than 25,000 premises will be able to take advantage of the technology in Roath once engineering work has been completed.
Roath follows Cardiff Central, Llandaff, Llanedeyrn, Llanishen, Llanrumney and Whitchurch which are already benefiting from BT’s £2.5 billion fibre roll-out programme.
BT’s commercial roll-out, which includes Roath, is in addition to the announcement by the Welsh Government and BT of the ambitious Superfast Cymru project which will help the Welsh Government achieve its aim of taking fibre broadband to 96 per cent of Welsh homes and businesses in 2016.
Ann Beynon, BT director for Wales, said: “Passing the 100,000 mark is a major milestone in Cardiff’s development as one of the UK’s leading cities for high-speed communications. BT’s fibre network is expanding rapidly in Wales bringing a boost for local economies wherever it goes.
“Nearly 480,000 households and businesses right across Wales already have access to fibre broadband and as many internet users have already discovered, it is a technology that opens up a whole new world to them. Whatever you’re doing online, you can do it better and faster with fibre.
“Fibre broadband 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.”
Neil Hanratty, chief officer city development for Cardiff Council, said: “This is so important for Cardiff and another significant step for this city. High-speed digital connectivity is a defining factor in our long-term success. At a time when our local economy needs a much needed boost, important developments such as the roll-out of fibre broadband offer us the potential to create new opportunities, services and growth.”
BT’s fibre footprint currently passes more than 15 million UK homes and businesses. It is expanding all the time and is due to pass two-thirds of UK premises – around 19 million premises – during Spring 2014, at least 18 months ahead of the original timetable. 1
Openreach, BT’s local network business, is primarily deploying fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, where 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 2 and could deliver even faster speeds in the future.
Openreach is now starting to make fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, where the fibre runs all the way to the home or business, commercially available on demand 3 in areas 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 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
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 decide whether they pass that on to businesses or consumers wishing to use the product.
4These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
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.