fibre

UK cities to get fast broadband cash

The government has announced how it will share the money promised to 10 UK cities to allow them to create superfast broadband networks.

London gets the largest share of the £114m pot with £25m, followed by Leeds and Bradford, which will divide £14.4m.

The money will be used to build city-wide networks, offering homes and businesses speeds of up to 100Mbps (megabits per second).

The government wants to make the UK the fastest place in Europe by 2015.

A further £50m is to be awarded to ten smaller cities.

How the cash is split

  • London – £25m
  • Leeds and Bradford – £14.4m
  • Belfast – £13.7m
  • Manchester – £12m
  • Bristol – £11.3m
  • Cardiff – £11m
  • Edinburgh – £10.7m
  • Birmingham – £10m
  • Newcastle – £6m

Digital leaders

New culture secretary Maria Miller promised last week to cut the red tape associated with broadband rollouts.

She hopes that the city networks can be built soon.

“These 10 cities have produced ambitious and comprehensive plans, which will turn them into digital leaders, and give their local economies a real boost,” she said.

The new investment will help put these cities at the centre of the digital stage, competing for jobs and investment with the best in the world,” she added.

Alongside the government money, each city is expected to invest some of its own funds in the broadband projects.

The 10 cities’ plans are expected to bring superfast broadband access (offering speeds between 80 and 100 megabits per second) to around an extra 230,000 residential and 55,000 business premises as well as high speed wireless to even more.

All the networks are due to be completed by 2015.

[via BBC News]

UK internet ‘to be fastest in Europe by 2015’

The UK will have the fastest broadband of any major European country by 2015, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said.

He reiterated that he wanted to bring high-speed broadband – which he defined as greater than 24 Megabits per second – to more than 90% of the country.

Mr Hunt outlined the ambition in a speech at Google’s Campus building in east London.

His comments followed heavy criticism last month from a Lords committee which said plans were too focused on speed.

The report from the communications committee said Mr Hunt’s ambitions were “misguided” and left “a very real risk that some people and businesses are being left behind, that inadequate access to the internet and all its benefits is actually afflicting their daily lives”.

On Monday, Mr Hunt defended his focus on higher speeds, which he said would be needed in order for the UK’s network to remain competitive with others in Europe.

“We simply will not have a competitive broadband network unless we recognise the massive growth in demand for higher and higher speeds,” Mr Hunt said.

“Today’s superfast is tomorrow’s superslow. Just as the last government was wrong to hang its hat on 2Mbps speeds, we must never fall into the trap of saying any speed is ‘enough’.”

Fibre To The Home

He said the government had begun looking at the ways it will allocate part of a £300m slice of the television license fee to provide high-speed broadband to a greater number than the existing target of 90% of the country.

Initially, much of this speed increase will be achieved by a Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) system, in which high-speed fibre cabling is connected to a cabinet near a user’s home.

Internet data will then travel the final distance through copper cabling, which is slower. The possible connection speed available via FTTC decreases as it travels further away from the cabinet.

Because of this issue, Mr Hunt said FTTC will only be a temporary measure.

“The reason we are backing Fibre To The Cabinet as a potential medium-term solution is simple: The increase in speeds that it allows – 80 Mbps certainly but in certain cases up to 1 gigabit – will comfortably create Europe’s biggest and most profitable high-speed broadband market,” he said.

“And in doing so we will create the conditions whereby, if fibre to the home is still the best way to get the very highest speeds, private sector companies will invest to provide it.”

Fibre To the Home (FTTH) allows a fibre-speed connection to reach individual homes without the need for slower copper cabling.

By 2016, he said up to two-thirds of the country will be able to access Fibre To The Home (FTTH).

[Via BBC News]

184,000 more homes and businesses in the North West targeted for super-fast broadband

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.

Find out more about about Posilan’s fibre broadband services by clicking here