WESTBURY has been chosen by BT as one of only five rural market towns in the South West who will benefit from the next phase of its roll-out of super-fast fibre broadband.
More than 37,000 businesses and households in Westbury, Dartmouth, Devizes, Blandford, and Wimborne will be able to access super-fast broadband speeds of up to 40Mb/s by spring 2012.
The announcement follows last month’s news that, for the first time, BT would include a number of rural market towns in the next phase of its £2.5 billion fibre broadband roll-out. This is in response to customer demand for super-fast speeds in these areas and is part of BT’s commitment to deliver faster broadband speeds to more rural parts of the country.
BT estimates that a large number of premises in these towns will be able to access fibre-based broadband; it is however likely that a minority will not initially be able to receive super-fast services due to a combination of technical and economic reasons.
BT’s local network business Openreach, which is responsible for the roll-out of fibre broadband, is very keen to hold discussions with local council representatives to see if agreement can be reached to include the small minority of premises that will not initially benefit.
The technology will be available on an open, wholesale basis to all companies providing broadband services. Across the UK, BT has announced that it will be bringing super-fast broadband to 41 market towns. In the South West, it will take the number of homes and businesses to benefit from the BT fibre broadband roll-out to just over 400,000 in more than thirty communities.
BT is investing up to £2.5billion to deliver fibre broadband to up to two thirds of UK homes and businesses, subject to an acceptable environment for investment. It is the largest single commercial investment in fibre-based broadband ever undertaken in the UK, and is currently one of the biggest civil engineering projects running in Europe.
Jon Reynolds, BT’s regional director for the South West said, “This latest investment in super-fast broadband is great news for many homes and businesses in the South West. It shows our commitment to bringing super-fast broadband to a wide variety of locations across the region.
“Fibre broadband has the power to revolutionise the way we use the internet. It has huge implications for the way we live, learn and do business, with massive opportunities for entertainment, education and entrepreneurs. People in these communities will soon be able to experience the internet as they’ve never seen it before.”
Steve Robertson, chief executive of Openreach said, “We want to extend the fibre footprint and the benefits the technology brings to more rural areas. So we’re constantly evolving our deployment model to make sure we can bring the benefits of the technology to the maximum number of people within the scope of our commercial deployment.
“The inclusion of 41 market towns in our roll-out plan firmly demonstrates our commitment to finding solutions for local communities. However, in many cases, this will require a collective effort. An infrastructure project on this scale – arguably as important to the future of the UK as the road or rail networks – can only be done in partnership. We’re keen to talk to public and private sector organisations about how this can be achieved.
“Many factors are taken into account when making decisions about where to focus our investment, and we’re working on ways to give people more of an opportunity to demonstrate where demand for next generation fibre broadband is the greatest,” he added.
Super-fast broadband, using fibre to street cabinets (FTTC), offers much faster download speeds of up to 40Mbps, potentially rising to 60Mbps, and upstream speeds of 10Mbps, which could rise to 15Mbps in the future. BT is also trialling fibre to the premise (FTTP) broadband services, at download speeds of up to 100Mbps.