“Embracing new technology and developing public-private partnerships are key to economic growth” – Mike Cook
Super-fast broadband will play a vital role in the future success of Worcestershire and the wider West Midlands as they emerge from the economic downturn, BT’s new
regional director said today.
Mike Cook, from near Worcester, has been appointed BT regional director for the West Midlands, where the company employs around 6,500 people. His key aims
include developing strong partnerships with the public sector to make faster broadband as widely available as possible and to help businesses and communities
flourish through better use of the high-speed technology.
Mike said: “Technology is developing at such a pace it’s important that businesses and communities don’t get left behind. Faster broadband is a vital tool in
helping companies to become more competitive and efficient, as well as saving them time and money.
“At home there are major educational and entertainment benefits. People can quickly download music and films, access on-line services and share information
“BT’s roll-out of super-fast fibre broadband is progressing rapidly across the West Midlands region, which is also benefiting from the creation of new
broadband partnerships between the public and private sector. We have already announced plans to make the technology available to more than 1.7 million homes
and businesses in the region – more than 175,000 of which are in Worcestershire.
“And we are working with county councils in Herefordshire and Shropshire to bring faster broadband to areas outside the private sector’s commercial plans where
technical and economic challenges are much greater.”
Mike, who has worked for BT for nearly five years, brings with him a wealth of experience having worked in the sector – and for several different communications
companies - for more than 20 years.
Alongside his regional director role, Mike is responsible for the day-to-day running of networks and services for BT’s wholesale customers.
During his time with BT, he has also specialised in managed services and more recently oversaw the building of the network to support the new 4G mobile
services in the UK.
However, Mike began his working life in the armed forces, joining the Royal Navy at the age of 16. He served for just over eight years, during which time he
gained a degree in electronic engineering.
Mike, aged 47, grew up in Worcestershire and went to school in Stourport-on- Severn.
Although his work has taken him around the world, Mike has maintained his Worcestershire roots, where he still lives with wife Gaynor.
Recent research by Regeneris Consulting predicted that over the next 15 years BT’s fibre-based broadband could give the economy of a typical town a £143
million boost, create 225 new jobs and 140 new start-up businesses.
Mike added: “Rolling out the new technology is just part of the challenge. It’s important people understand the many benefits and embrace the technology so they
don’t get left behind.
“Overall, there is strong and growing demand for fibre broadband, but in some areas the take-up is lower than you might expect.
“Therefore, as well as working together to roll-out the technology, we also need to work in partnership to raise awareness of the benefits to all areas of society.”
Mike is a life-long supporter of Aston Villa. His other interests include fishing and game shooting.