BT News

Super-fast fibre broadband goes live in Sharrow and Woodseats

Press release   •   Apr 30, 2013 00:00 BST

More than 21,500 local homes and businesses to benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out; news welcomed by Sheffield Chamber of Commerce 

High-speed fibre broadband is now available to the first homes and businesses in Sharrow and Woodseats, BT announced today. 

More than 21,500 local households and firms are joining the high-speed revolution as engineers complete the local investment in the coming weeks. 

Sharrow and Woodseats follow other locations, such as Broomhill, Ecclesfield, Intake and Wadsley Bridge where fibre is already available. 

High Green is also due to be upgraded and by the end of Spring 2014 more than 185,000 homes and businesses in and around Sheffield will be able to benefit as a result of BT’s £2.5 billion fibre roll-out programme. 

Tom Keeney, BT’s regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “BT’s fibre network is expanding rapidly across the Shefffield area bringing a boost for local economies wherever it goes. Research suggests that within 15 years fibre broadband could bolster the economy of a typical town by £143 million and create 225 new jobs, 140 new start-up businesses and 1,000 more homeworkers 1. 

“As more than a million households and businesses have already discovered, fibre broadband opens up a whole new world to internet users. Whatever you’re doing online, you can do it better and faster with fibre. It’s great for education, shopping, entertainment, the social networking we now carry out routinely online and it also offers huge benefits for businesses and public services. 

“The arrival of fibre in Sharrow and Woodseats 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.” 

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 

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 20Mbps 3 and could deliver even faster speeds in the future. 

Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is a significant step for Sharrow and Woodseats. 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 BT’s investment in super-fast broadband offer us the potential to create new opportunities, services and growth.” 

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 
1Research taken from Social Study 2012 – The Economic Impact of BT across the UK by Regeneris Consulting – see www.btsocialstudy.co.uk for more information. 
2BT’s deployment plans are subject to an acceptable environment for investment. 

3These 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.