BT today announced a further expansion of high-speed fibre broadband in Edinburgh.
Another 35,000 homes and businesses in the capital will be able to get the service as a result of extra investment in communities already included in BT’s £2.5 billion commercial roll-out of fibre broadband.
The latest expansion will take place in 16 communities across the city, such as Fountainbridge, Craiglockhart, Stockbridge and Murrayfield, which have already been upgraded, and Leith, Liberton, Wester Hailes and Davidson’s Mains, which are due to be upgraded later this year.
It will take the total number of premises with access to fibre broadband in Edinburgh to almost 178,000 by the end of Spring 2014. Around 64,700 are already able to get the service.
Around 2,000 homes and workplaces in West Lothian and 800 in East Lothian are also set to benefit from the additional coverage.
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “This is another important step forward for Scotland’s capital city. High-speed digital connectivity is vital to our long-term success.
“BT’s investment in fibre broadband allows communities to create new opportunities, growth and future potential. Anything you can think of doing online, you can do better with fibre broadband. It is a vital part of households and businesses making the most of the amazing opportunities increasingly offered by the internet.”
Councillor Frank Ross, convener of the Economy Committee at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “It’s great to see the super-fast broadband footprint spreading across the city. It’s essential to be well-connected if our businesses are to compete effectively and we are to protect and create jobs.
“Whether you’re working in an office, improving your education at home or just wanting to download a film or programme online, high-speed fibre broadband is ever more essential to everyday life.”
BT’s local network business, Openreach, will be making fibre broadband available to two-thirds of UK homes and businesses by the end of Spring 2014. The roll-out uses a mix of fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP) technologies. More than 13 million UK premises can already access fibre broadband and this number is growing by around 100,000 every week.
Both technologies offer speeds many times faster than the current UK average, reported by the regulator Ofcom to be 9Mbps. FTTC, where fibre is delivered to new street cabinets, offers download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps1.
FTTP, where fibre runs all the way to homes and businesses, offers a variety of download speeds with the current top speed being 330Mbps1. From Spring 2013 BT will start to make speeds of 330Mbps1 available on demand in any area where FTTC has been deployed2.
BT’s network is available on an open, wholesale basis to all companies providing broadband services so households and businesses in Edinburgh will benefit from a highly competitive market.
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 ten minutes, whilst high-resolution photos can be uploaded to Facebook in seconds.
The upload speeds are some of 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.
Notes to editors
1These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
2 Openreach will levy an installation charge for FTTP on demand. It will be up to service providers to decide whether they pass that onto businesses or consumers wishing to take advantage of the product.
Due to the current network topography, and the economics of deployment, it is likely that some premises within the selected exchange areas will not initially be able to access fibre-based broadband. Alternative solutions for these locations are being investigated.
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