BT announced today that around 14,000 more homes and businesses in Suffolk will be next to benefit from its £2.5 billion plans for super-fast broadband.
Haverhill and Kesgrave exchange areas will be upgraded by Autumn 2011.
Across the UK, 159 new super-fast broadband locations were announced today, covering more than a million homes and businesses.
Openreach, BT’s local network business, is carrying out the upgrades. The technology will be available on an open, wholesale basis to all companies providing broadband services.
BT is investing up to £2.5 billion to deliver fibre broadband to up to two thirds of UK homes and businesses, subject to an acceptable environment for investment. It’s the largest single commercial investment in fibre-based broadband ever undertaken in the UK, and one of the biggest civil engineering projects running at this time.
Super-fast broadband, using fibre to street cabinets (FTTC), offers much faster download speeds of up to 40Mbps, potentially rising to 60Mbps, and upstream speeds of 10Mbps, which could rise to 15Mbps in the future. BT is also trialling fibre to the premise (FTTP) broadband services, at download speeds of up to 100Mbps.
BT’s fibre plans build on existing initiatives such as the upgrade of its existing copper network to deliver faster broadband as part of its pioneering 21st Century Network. This is set to offer speeds of up to 20Mbps to around 20 million homes using the existing copper network by next spring, with exchanges serving 55 per cent of UK homes and businesses already enabled.
Super-fast speeds give customers greater flexibility in how they use the internet, with much faster downloads (a music track could be downloaded in five seconds) and much easier uploads of photos and videos. Internet users can run multiple bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time - some members of a family could be watching different high definition (HD) movies or 3D TV, while others are gaming or working on complex graphics or video projects.
For businesses, the new network will be the catalyst for many new services and applications. Computer processing and file storage 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 video conferencing in firms and between them and their customers.
While BT estimates that most premises in these areas will be able to access fibre-based broadband, it is likely that a minority will not initially be able to receive services due to a variety of technical and commercial reasons. Openreach is actively looking at alternative solutions for these locations.
Further information about the roll-out, including demos showing the difference super-fast broadband makes, is available at www.superfast-openreach.co.uk.