More than 17,400 local homes and businesses to benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out; news welcomed by local MSPs
HIGH-speed fibre broadband is now available to the first homes and businesses served by Aberdeen’s Balgownie and Kincorth exchanges, BT announced today.
More than 17,400 local households and firms are joining the high-speed revolution as engineers complete the local investment in the coming weeks.
Balgownie and Kincorth now join Aberdeen’s Ashgrove and Denburn exchanges where fibre is already available.
Aberdeen’s West and Lochnager exchanges are also set for upgrade, followed by North exchange in the spring, making fibre broadband available to more than 66,300 homes and businesses across Aberdeen City, thanks to BT’s £2.5 billion fibre roll-out programme.
BT is set to announce further locations in the coming months that will benefit from its commercial roll out of fibre broadband. The company is also seeking to work in partnership with the Scottish Government and its agencies to reach parts of the country that lie outside its commercial footprint.
Brendan Dick, BT regional director, said: “BT’s fibre network is expanding rapidly across Aberdeen City bringing a boost for local economies wherever it goes. Research suggests that within 15 years fibre broadband could bolster the economy of a typical town by £143 million and create 225 new jobs, 140 new start-up businesses and 1,000 more homeworkers (1).
“As more than a million households and businesses have already discovered, fibre broadband opens up a whole new world to internet users. Whatever you’re doing online, you can do it better and faster with fibre. It’s great for education, shopping, entertainment, the social networking we now carry out routinely online and it also offers huge benefits for businesses and public services.
“The arrival of fibre in Balgownie and Kincorth can really help local firms in these economically challenging times, opening up new ways of working and speeding up vital operations, such as file and data transfers, conferencing and computer back-up, all of which may also help cut costs.”
Aberdeen South and North Kincardine MSP Maureen Watt said: “I am delighted at the news that Kincorth is the latest area of the North-east to go live with high-speed broadband. This is something which is absolutely critical to the local, and Scottish economies, and promises to be a boost for local people and business alike.
“When it comes to funding announcements for broadband in the months ahead, I am optimistic that the North East will be in a strong position to benefit from the money available, delivering a better service to not only homes and businesses in Aberdeen South & North Kincardine, but across the entire region.
“It has been said that other parts of Scotland can learn lessons from what is happening in the North East, which should reassure people that work is well under way to deliver better broadband infrastructure in the years ahead.”
Aberdeen Donside MSP, Brian Adam, said: “I very much welcome the news from BT that super-fast broadband services are now available to households and businesses in Balgownie. It is not only great news for thousands of household users who can enjoy access to entertainment, online shopping and social networking at high speeds, but it will also help boost the local economy and support businesses in the area.”
BT’s fibre footprint currently passes more than 12 million UK homes and businesses. It is expanding all the time and is now due to pass two-thirds of UK premises – around 19 million premises – during Spring 2014, at least 18 months ahead of the original timetable. (2)
Brendan Dick added: “Our ambition doesn’t stop with our commercial roll-out. We’re keen to work with the public sector to extend fibre broadband to the remaining parts of Scotland that are harder to reach, and in many parts of the UK that’s already happening. Reaching two-thirds of the country early will mean we’re well positioned to place an even greater focus on the challenge of the final third.”
Openreach, BT’s local network business, is primarily deploying fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, where the fibre runs from the exchange to a local roadside cabinet. FTTC offers download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps (3) and could deliver even faster speeds in the future.
From Spring 2013m Openreach aims to make fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, where the fibre runs all the way to the home or business, commercially available on demand (4) in any area where fibre broadband has been deployed. FTTP-on-demand will offer the top current download speed of 330Mbps3. According to the regulator Ofcom, the current average UK broadband speed is 9Mbps.
At home, fibre broadband enables a family to simultaneously download a movie, watch a TV replay service, surf the internet and play games online all at the same time. A whole album can be downloaded in less than 30 seconds and a feature length HD movie in less than ten minutes, whilst high-resolution photos can be uploaded to Facebook in seconds.
Unlike other companies, Openreach offers fibre broadband access to all service providers on an open, wholesale basis, underpinning a competitive market. For further information on Openreach’s fibre broadband programme visit www.superfast-openreach.co.uk
Notes to editors
1 Research taken from Social Study 2012 – The Economic Impact of BT across the UK by Regeneris Consulting – see www.btsocialstudy.co.uk for more information.
2 BT’s deployment plans are subject to an acceptable environment for investment.
3 These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
4 Openreach will levy an installation charge for FTTP on demand. It will be up to service providers to decide whether they pass that on to businesses or consumers wishing to use the product.
Due to the current network topography, and the economics of deployment, it is likely that some premises within selected exchange areas will not initially be able to access fibre-based broadband. Openreach is considering alternative solutions for these locations.
For further information about this news release please contact Anna Steven or Mitch Reid in the BT Scotland press office on 0800 085 0660. All our news releases can be read at www.bt.com/newscentre
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach.
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