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Award winning brewery in rural Devon celebrates arrival of ultrafast broadband

Press release   •   Sep 14, 2017 11:55 BST

Paul Coles (left), of BT. and Roy Clark (right), of Openreach, celebrate the arrival of ultrafast broadband with Patrick McCaig, of Otter Brewery.

The celebratory beers flowed at an award-winning Devon brewery when it took delivery of some of the fastest broadband in the UK.

The latest Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband technology - delivering speeds many hundreds of times faster than those previously available - has been installed at Otter Brewery, set in the remote Luppitt Valley, near Honiton.

Extensive engineering work was needed, including the installation of about four kilometres of underground and overhead cabling.

The project was co-funded by the brewery and Openreach, Britain’s digital network business. The new network has also made FTTP, capable of download speeds up to one gigabit per second (Gbps), viable for a small number of nearby homes, which are also in very rural locations.

Patrick McCaig, managing director of Otter Brewery, said: “We’re already finding that ultrafast broadband is giving our business a major boost. Everything we do online now works so much more quickly and efficiently. Our remote and rural location helps to give the beers that we produce their purity and character, the downside has always been that we have lagged behind in terms of connectivity.

“Ultrafast will be a vital part of the future development of the business whether we are communicating online with our customers and suppliers or using the technology to work more efficiently. It has already strengthened our infrastructure as we continue to expand the business which includes greater use of e-commerce and a recent redesign of the Otter Brewery website.”

Otter Brewery is one of the South West’s leading breweries having won a variety of awards since it was founded 26 years ago, including recently being ‘Highly Commended’ in the 2016 National Business Awards and a finalist in the 2016 Rural Business Awards. The company, which employs 36 people, sells more than seven million pints of beer and lager each year to up to 2,000 pubs across the UK.

Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton, said: “It’s great that ultrafast fibre broadband has now come to Otter Brewery. Fibre broadband is an immensely exciting technology, which can provide very fast speeds. It will transform opportunities for households and businesses across the UK and I want it to be available throughout my constituency. It is a top priority for me.”

Steve Haines, managing director of next generation access for Openreach, said: “Bringing this exciting technology to Otter Brewery was a major job involving several months of work by our engineers. The success of this project shows the power of working together in partnership to find a solution and of Openreach’s commitment to making high-speed broadband available as quickly as possible as widely as possible. Openreach is leading the way in rolling out this technology and, in doing so, making a major contribution to the future success and prosperity of communities across the country.”

Paul Coles, South West regional partnerships director for BT, said: “It is great that we have been able to work with a leading Devon company, such as Otter Brewery, on bringing faster broadband to this remote part of Devon - and heartening to hear that the technology is already making an important contribution to the brewery’s success. There is no doubt that whatever you do on-line you can do it better with fibre broadband. More than 2.2 million households and businesses across the South West now have access to fibre broadband and the number is continuing to grow as we work with our partners to reach even some of the most challenging locations.”

The project is part of Openreach’s Community Fibre Partnerships programme, which has already seen agreements with more than 350 local communities and organisations to bring fibre broadband to some of the UK’s most challenging areas, including some other locations in the South West.

The Openreach network is available on an open, wholesale basis to all broadband service providers so local households and businesses can benefit from competitive pricing and a wide range of services. For more information on community fibre partnerships with Openreach visit www.communityfibre.bt.com

About Openreach

Openreach is the UK’s leading digital infrastructure provider.

Its 32,000 employees are responsible for building and maintaining millions of miles of fibre and copper cables that connect every home and business in the UK to local telephone exchanges. Openreach operates and maintains this network to deliver a range of wholesale services for more than 580 retail providers, who in-turn provide telephony, broadband, TV and data services to more than 30 million consumer and business customers throughout the country.

Openreach is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of its revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom. Any company can access its products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions.

Over the last decade, Openreach has invested more than £10bn into its network and is currently building the UK’s largest fibre broadband footprint. This technology is available to more than 26 million homes and businesses, with tens of thousands more gaining access each week.

Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group. For the year ended 31 March 2017, it reported revenues of £5.1bn.

For more information, visit openreach.co.uk

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 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, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2017, BT Group’s reported revenue was £24,062m with reported profit before taxation of £2,354m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com