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Councillor explores York’s fibre broadband network

Press Release   •   Aug 11, 2014 00:00 BST

More than 75,000 York homes and businesses can now benefit from fibre broadband on the BT network; local communities encouraged to get connected

BT today demonstrated the technology behind the roll out of super-fast fibre broadband in York to Julie Gunnell, councillor for Micklegate Ward.

She visited one of York’s fibre street cabinets on Southlands Road to find out for herself how the technology works and why it’s essential for York’s economic future.

Cllr Gunnell said: “Fibre broadband has an essential role to play in boosting the local economy and building a more prosperous future. It’s great news that thousands of local people can now choose to connect to this exciting technology.

“Broadband speed is a subject close to the heart of many people in York, so it’s been fascinating to see today the progress that is being made and just how these powerful connections are carried across the City and beyond.

“To ensure York’s future success we need the right building blocks in place. One of these is having the digital technology to support our people and economy. It’s very interesting to see today how the deployment is rolling out.

The new network now passes more than 75,000 premises in areas including Melrosegate, Haxby, Acomb, Dunnington, Rufforth, Escrick and Clifton. The total includes nearly 65,000 homes and business now able to benefit as part of BT’s commercial roll-out and more than 10,000 premises covered by the Superfast North Yorkshire programme.1

For York, this programme has been a tremendous success - by the end of both roll-outs the majority of York will be covered by fibre on the BT network. This will support York’s ambition to become the UK’s leading digital city.

Tom Keeney, BT’s regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, who hosted the visit, said: “It’s great that Cllr Gunnell has spared the time to come and explore the inner workings of our fibre technology. BT has led the roll out of superfast broadband in the UK and, working in partnership with Superfast North Yorkshire, are playing a huge part in helping York become one of the best connected cities in the UK.

“Local people may have noticed our green street cabinets being installed. This everyday street furniture is where the magic happens. As more than 3 million UK households and businesses have discovered, fibre broadband opens up a whole new world to internet users.

“We are very focused not just on delivering the high-speed infrastructure but making sure that we fully exploit the benefits - as individuals and as a region.”

BT’s fibre footprint currently passes more than 20 million UK homes and businesses. It is expanding all the time and has now passed more than two-thirds of UK premises, around 21 months ahead of the original timetable.

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 80 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps1 and could deliver even faster speeds in the future.

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 10 minutes, whilst high-resolution photos can be uploaded to Facebook in seconds.

BT’s network is available on an open, wholesale basis to all companies offering broadband services. For further information on Openreach’s fibre broadband programme visit www.superfast-openreach.co.uk


ENDS

Notes to editors

1The Superfast North Yorkshire project was the first in the UK to deploy fibre broadband using Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and European Union (ERDF) funds following the signing of a £36.4m contract led by North Yorkshire County Council and BT in July 2012.

The Superfast North Yorkshire project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf

2These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

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.