Wednesday, 29 September 2010

BT announce 40mb/sec broadband upgrade for Accrington

BT are announcing today the latest deployment phase of their £2.5billion investment in super-fast fibre broadband, covering more than 1 million additional homes and businesses.

BT has committed to reach two thirds of UK homes and businesses – some 16 million premises – by 2015.

The 159 new locations include Accrington telephone exchange, which covers part of the constituency.
This is important for this area. It should provide advantages for SME's as well as enjoyment and information for residential users.

We are still behind our European colleagues and BT have to be encouraged to make sure Haslingden and Hyndburn, and the UK maintain competitive.

I have been working with IT companies in the constituency to promote the business advantages this area has to offer.

This fibre upgrade in this area will be complete by August 2011 and will offer initial speeds of up to 40Mps, with the prospect of higher speeds in the future.
Openreach, BT's local network business, is rolling-out this super-fast fibre technology, and making it available on an open, wholesale basis to all companies providing broadband services.

Super-fast fibre broadband will allow customers to run several bandwidth hungry applications at the same time, allowing them to post videos and pictures quickly online or enjoy HD services such as video conferencing and gaming, for example.

Press Release September 29, 2010

BT announced today that more than 133,000 more homes and businesses across the North West will be next to benefit from its £2.5 billion plans for super-fast broadband.

Twenty-two more regional exchange areas will be upgraded by Autumn 2011 including Accrington.

This latest phase builds on BT's existing roll-out plans and will take the total number of North West homes and businesses able to access super-fast broadband to nearly 895,000.

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 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.

Mike Blackburn, BT's North West regional director, said: "This latest investment in super-fast broadband is great news for many homes and businesses in the region.

"Fibre broadband has the power to revolutionise the way we use the internet. It has huge implications for the way we live, learn and do business, with massive opportunities for entertainment, education and entrepreneurs. People in these communities will soon be able to experience the internet as they've never seen it before.

"We want to extend the fibre footprint and the benefits it brings to the final third of the UK where the economics pose a major challenge, but this will require a collective effort. An infrastructure project on this scale – arguably as important to the future of the region as the road or rail networks - can only be done in partnership. We're keen to talk to public and private sector organisations about how this can be achieved.

"Many factors are taken into account when making the tough decisions about where to focus our investment. We're working on ways to give people more of an opportunity to demonstrate where demand for next generation broadband is the greatest," he added.

David Campbell, Openreach's managing director of Next Generation Access, said: "We have already brought faster broadband speeds within reach of more than two million premises and we are well on our way to passing four million premises by the end of this year.

"Fibre-based broadband offers consumers far faster speeds and lets them explore new and innovative ways of doing things online and communicating with friends, family and colleagues. It is a complete and radical change in the user experience.

"It will also create huge economic benefits for the UK - for businesses and the health and education sectors - and help support a low carbon economy."

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


Q. Will you be rolling out Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) or Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) to these areas?
A. BT will be rolling out a mix of the two technologies but we expect that FTTC will be the most widely deployed.

Q. What is FTTC?
A. Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) is a solution where fibre optic cable is deployed from the exchange to the street cabinet with the remainder of the connection - from the cabinet to the premise - using copper wiring. This combination of fibre and copper can be used to support super-fast broadband with speeds of up to 40Mbps initially, potentially rising to 60Mbps in the future. Initial upstream speeds will be between 5 and 10Mbit/s rising to 15Mbps.

Q. What is FTTP?
A. Fibre to the premises (FTTP) is a solution where fibre-optic cable is deployed from the exchange directly into the customer premise supporting super-fast broadband. It delivers downstream speeds of up to 100Mbps – and potentially up to 1000Mbps in the future - and upstream speeds of up to 30Mbps.

Q. How do these speeds compare to the higher speed broadband services BT is introducing over existing copper lines?
 A. This BT investment is making broadband speeds of up to 20Mbps available over copper lines – more than double the maximum speeds previously available to the majority of UK homes and businesses.

Q. What criteria has BT used to select the latest locations to benefit from fibre-based broadband?
A. A number of factors were considered in selecting these sites, including levels of anticipated demand (linked to interest from broadband service providers), predicted performance of the service, economics, topography, and the levels of interest from local and devolved government. BT Group is investing in next generation access at its own risk. NGA is in its infancy in the UK, with demand and take up yet unproven – this affects the economics of investment. Openreach is working closely with local, regional and central government to find ways of improving and developing the business case for further roll-out based on feedback from these parties and industry.

Q. Will public sector assistance be required to take super-fast broadband availability in the UK to the final third of the country?
A. BT currently expects to take fibre to two thirds of UK premises by 2015. The costs increase dramatically once the first two thirds of the country have been enabled. There will be locations where public sector funding will be needed in order to make it commercially viable for super-fast broadband to be provided. We strongly welcome the opportunity to talk with organisations interested in participating in the roll-out of this exciting technology.

For further information
Enquiries about this news release should be made to the BT Regional press office on 0800 085 0660. All news releases can be accessed at our web site: