SURFERS in Dalgety Bay are the first in Fife to be connected to BT’s super-fast, fibre-based broadband network.
More than 3,800 local householders and firms now have access to the speed-of-light internet technology after engineers completed work in the area. They’re among the first in the UK to benefit from BT’s roll-out.
The company has announced plans to invest up to £2.5 billion in fibre-based broadband, which could become available to around two thirds of UK premises by 2015 subject to an acceptable environment for investment.
Fibre to street cabinets offers download speeds of up to 40Mb/s, potentially rising to 60Mb/s in the future, and upload capability of up to 10Mb/s. Even faster speeds are possible if the fibre goes direct to the home or premises. The super-fast speeds will power new business applications and more sophisticated home and entertainment services.
BT’s planned investment is one of the largest in the world that doesn’t rely on public sector funding and where the network is open to all service providers on an equal basis.
While BT estimates that most premises in upgraded areas will be able to access fibre-based broadband, it is likely a minority will not initially be able to receive services for a variety of technical and commercial reasons. BT’s local network business Openreach, which is deploying the technology, is actively looking at alternative solutions for these locations.
Brendan Dick, BT director for Scotland, said: “The launch of fibre broadband is an exciting development for Dalgety Bay, supporting local jobs and the local economy. Surfers switching to super-fast will soon be experiencing the internet as they have never experienced it before.
“As our roll-out of super-fast, fibre-based broadband continues, many more people in other parts of the country, including around 20,000 in Dunfermline, can look forward to faster speeds in the pipeline.
“We are very open to holding discussions with the public sector to explore ways of bringing super-fast, fibre-based broadband to locations where the economics are more challenging.
“BT is the only company consistently investing in a range of broadband technologies across Scotland,” he added.
BT’s fibre plans build on existing initiatives such as its next generation broadband programme, which has already placed faster speeds of up to 20Mb/s within reach of around a third of Scottish homes and businesses using the existing copper network. The rollout is continuing, with plans in place to reach more than 42 per cent coverage by next spring.
Super-fast speeds allow users to run multiple bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time. For example, some members of a family could be watching different high definition (HD) movies or 3D TV, while others play online games or work on complex graphics or video projects.
For businesses, the new network will underpin the introduction of many new services and applications. Computer processing and storage of files will become more sophisticated and secure using ‘cloud computing’ technology. There will be faster back-up of computer systems and wider use of high quality videoconferencing within firms and between them and their customers.
Further roll-out plans are due to be announced later this year. Householders and businesses can contact their broadband service provider to place an order or register their interest.
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