BT has announced a major investment in Warwickshire which could help create new businesses and hundreds of local jobs.
High-speed fibre broadband will be rolled out to more than 7,000 homes and businesses in Dunchurch in 2013.
The latest phase will take the total number for the whole of the West Midlands to more than 1.2 million, of which more than 178,600 are in Coventry and Warwickshire.
The investment - part of a £2.5 billion BT roll-out of fibre broadband across the UK - is expected to give a major lift to the local economy.
Recent research by Regeneris Consulting predicted that over the next 15 years BT’s fibre broadband could give the economy of a typical town a £143 million boost, create 225 new jobs and 140 new start-up businesses.
John Dovey, BT’s regional director for the West Midlands, said: “The arrival of fibre broadband in these communities is a massive shot in the arm for the local economy, creating new businesses, jobs and educational opportunities.
“The benefits are major and wide ranging. As our new fibre network expands across region it also brings new potential for offering essential public services on-line and cost savings across the sectors.
“Local firms and households who make the switch to fibre broadband will be able to do so much more with their connection, whether they’re using it for business, entertainment, education, social networking or shopping – or all of these at once. They’re joining more than 10 million premises now passed by our fibre network and becoming part of one of the fastest roll-outs of the technology anywhere in the world.”
Councillor Alan Cockburn, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for sustainable communities, said: “This is excellent news for many people in the area. They’re the latest in the region who will soon have access to the next generation of internet services.
“Reliable, fast connections can make all the difference to education and business, and give people much greater scope for interaction with the world around them.
“In a tough economic climate, this local investment from BT will help make the region an even better place to live, work and do business.”
BT’s local network business Openreach is making fibre broadband available to around two-thirds of UK homes and businesses by the end of 20141 using a mix of fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP) technologies.
Both offer speeds many times faster than those currently available to most UK homes and businesses. FTTC, where fibre is delivered to the street cabinet, offers download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps2. FTTP, where fibre runs all the way to homes and businesses, offers download speeds of 110Mbps, with 330Mbps2 coming soon.
By spring 2013 BT aims to make speeds of 330Mbps2 commercially available in any area where fibre broadband has been deployed3. The UK’s current average broadband speed is 7.6Mbps, according to the regulator Ofcom.
John Dovey added: “As more and more people get connected to the fibre broadband network, it’s increasingly important that those living in our more rural areas don’t miss out. Across the UK, public bodies are developing plans to boost broadband speeds in even the most challenging areas. BT will compete hard to be the private sector partner of choice in such initiatives and, if selected, we’ll invest further funds to take faster broadband to as many people as possible. Unlike some others, our network is available on an equal, wholesale basis to all companies offering broadband services, bringing choice and competition to local households and businesses.
”We want to help the UK achieve world-class digital connectivity and make sure the communities where we provide services and jobs remain vibrant, strong and connected.”
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. 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.
Upload speeds are the fastest widely available to consumers in the UK, with large video and data files being sent almost instantly and hi-resolution photos posted online in seconds. And high quality voice and video calls mean businesses can keep in touch with customers while they cut down on travel.
For further information on Openreach’s fibre broadband programme visit www.superfast-openreach.co.uk
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