Fifteen more communities added in BT’s £2.5 billion fibre broadband roll-out.
More than 184,000 more homes and businesses across the North West are poised to benefit from super-fast broadband as part of a major expansion of BT’s roll-out plans.
Aintree, Bootle, Churchtown, Great Crosby, Huyton, St Helens and Widnes in Greater Merseyside, Dalton-in-Furness and Kendal in Cumbria, Ardwick in Manchester, Cleveleys and Hesketh Bank in Lancashire, as well as Ashton-in-Makerfield, Hindley and Wigan are among the latest communities to be included in the company’s £2.5 billion roll-out of fibre broadband.
It will take the number of North West homes and businesses being passed by the new super-fast network to more than 1.7 million.
The latest upgrades are due to be completed during this year (2012).
BT’s local network business Openreach is driving forward plans to make super-fast fibre broadband available to two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014*. The innovative network features a mix of fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP) technologies. Speeds are vastly superior to those previously available to many UK homes and businesses.
FTTC, delivered to street cabinets, currently offers download speeds of up to 40Mbps with 10Mbps upstream. Openreach has said it will roughly double these speeds next year. FTTP, where the fibre goes directly to homes and businesses, offers speeds of up to 100Mbps, rising to 300Mbps in the spring. This compares with 6.8Mbps, the average actual speed of all UK broadband according to Ofcom’s latest research published in July 2011.
Mike Blackburn, BT’s regional director for the North West, said: “This latest major investment is a tremendous boost for the region. Super-fast broadband will be welcomed by families throughout the area because it will help improve their quality of life and leisure and open new doors through online learning and fast access to information and services. And it’s also going to provide a huge fillip for businesses and the local economy. At a stroke, small and medium sized firms will have access to big business speeds at much lower costs allowing them to find new markets, boost their competitiveness and create new jobs.
“Faster upstream speeds are a boon for flexible and remote working, slashing office overheads and improving employees’ work-life balance. Large graphic and video files can be sent immediately online instead of being physically delivered to customers on hard disk. And high quality voice and video calls will enable businesses to save time travelling to clients without losing direct customer contact.
“We are making rapid progress with super-fast broadband across the UK. More than six million homes and businesses can now access the high-speed technology and last month we announced that two-thirds of UK premises will have access by the end of 2014, a year earlier than planned.
“And we’re not forgetting the final third – largely rural areas which we have always said will require a partnership approach with the public sector to provide access to the new technology. BT has the strength and experience to deliver challenging projects – as we are doing with major faster broadband initiatives in Northern Ireland and Cornwall – and we are determined to be at the forefront of taking the technology to the final third. We’re also testing new technologies to improve speeds where fibre broadband won’t be available because it’s important that as many homes and businesses as possible have access to fast broadband and its benefits.”
Internet users with a fibre broadband connection can do much more online, all at the same time. A family can download a movie, watch a TV replay service, surf the net and play games online simultaneously. The latest chart hit can be downloaded in around two seconds, a CD in 30 seconds and a feature length HD film in 10 minutes.
Upload speeds are the fastest in the UK, with large video and data files being sent almost instantly and posting hi-resolution photos on Facebook, takes seconds.
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