Sir George has welcomed the news that the Andover exchange will get super-fast broadband by the end of the summer - see Press Release below
"I am anxious that new businesses should come and invest in Andover and provide new jobs; and that
exisitng businesses shoudl expand. The presence of high-speed communications is one of the factors that influences these decisions, so I welcome BT's news."
Sir George added that it was important not to forget the rural exchanges, and those people who were still without proper broadband. "I will continue to campaign for them as well."
BT ANNOUNCES MAJOR EXPANSION OF SUPER-FAST BROADBAND IN THE SOUTH EAST
About 280,000 more South East homes and businesses, including parts of Brighton, Portsmouth, Reading and Southampton to have access by end of summer 2010
A further 280,000 homes and businesses in the South East will this year benefit from BT’s £1.5 billion plans for super-fast fibre-based broadband.
BT announced today that 20 exchanges* in the South East region were among the latest UK locations due to be upgraded with fibre-based broadband by the end of summer 2010.
This latest expansion will take the number of super-fast fibre-based lines in the South East to about 325,000. It follows an announcement last year that by early summer 2010 fibre-based broadband would be available at two of the region’s exchanges - serving 45,000 premises in Basingstoke and Dartford.
Across the UK, 62 new locations are included in today’s announcement, representing another 1 million UK homes and businesses that will have access to super-fast fibre-based broadband. This brings the total by late summer 2010 to 2.5 million premises. BT now expects to make fibre-based broadband available to 4 million premises by the end of 2010.
It is the latest chapter in BT’s longer-term programme to make super-fast fibre-based fibre broadband available to 40 per cent of the UK – or some 10 million homes - by summer 2012. The company has pledged to spend £1.5 billion, the UK’s biggest single commercial investment in fibre-based broadband, on this programme.
Mike Galvin, BT’s South East regional director, said: “This major investment is a further example of BT’s commitment to the South East and its determination to play a leading role in making the great benefits of broadband as widely available as possible.
“Broadband has already made a huge contribution to the prosperity of the South East – transforming the way many of us live and work and increasing the competitiveness of the region’s businesses - and it will become even more important in the years ahead.
“We are continuing to work closely with regional authorities, agencies and partners across the region to make sure that the South East remains at the cutting edge of broadband development in a world in which the internet grows ever more essential.”
Robert Crawford, Executive Director, Operations at SEEDA said: “This latest announcement is very good news. In these challenging economic times, investment in technology of this kind has never been more vital.
“I am convinced that businesses and households in this region, which has a reputation for innovation and enterprise, will take full advantage of the tremendous opportunities it offers. By doing so, they can enhance the services they offer for customers, market themselves more effectively, work more efficiently and improve their learning and development.”
Unlike other companies, BT will offer access to service providers on an open, wholesale basis thereby supporting a competitive market. Pilot schemes of the super-fast technology have been running at Muswell Hill, London and Whitchurch, Cardiff since last summer.
Steve Robertson, chief executive of BT’s local network business Openreach, said: “Today’s announcement marks another huge milestone in a programme of major importance to communities and businesses across the UK. The benefits offered by this technology could play a vital role in helping to lift the UK out of recession and allowing companies and individuals to thrive in a challenging economic climate.”
*South East exchanges announced today:
Bicester, Newport Pagnell, Aylesbury, Didcot, Maidenhead, Crowthorne, Wokingham, Earley, Langley, Caversham, Reading South, Henley-on-Thames, Locksheath, Chandlers Ford, Fair Oak, Andover, Eastleigh, Brighton Hove, Sittingbourne and Portsmouth Central.
Questions and Answers:
Q. Will you be rolling out FTTP or 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 FTTP?
A. Fibre to the premises (FTTP) is a solution whereby fibre-optic cable is deployed from the exchange directly into the customer premise supporting super-fast broadband. It delivers downstream speeds of up to 100Mb/s – and potentially up to 1000Mb/s in the future - and upstream speeds of up to 40Mb/s.
Q. What is FTTC?
A. Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) is a solution whereby fibre optic cable is deployed from the exchange to the street cabinet with the remainder of the connection - from the cabinet to the premises - using copper wiring. This combination of fibre and copper can be used to support super-fast broadband with speeds of up to 40mb/s initially, potentially rising to 60Mb/s in the future. Initial upstream speeds will be between 5 and 10Mbit/s rising to 15Mb/s.
Q. What criteria has BT used to select the latest locations to benefit from fibre-based broadband?
A. BT has consulted closely with its communications provider and service provider customers and with local and national government agencies to agree this next set of locations.
Q. How is BT making its fibre-based broadband technology available to consumers, businesses and service providers?
A. BT will offer access on an open, wholesale basis through both Openreach and BT Wholesale.
Q. When will these services be commercially available to consumer and businesses? How much will these services cost?
A. BT has already made these services available in Muswell Hill and Whitchurch and will be making the service available in further areas from this month. It will be up to the individual providers to decide the timescales for offering these services to their end customers and to set the pricing.
Q. Will every line in a chosen exchange area get SFBB?
A. No. Due to the current network topography, and the economics of deployment, it is likely that a small minority of premises within the selected exchange areas will not be able to be served by this technology in the short term. However, Openreach is actively looking at alternative solutions for these locations.
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: http://www.btplc.com/News
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to our customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.
In the year ended 31 March 2009, BT Group’s revenue was £21,390 million.
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.bt.com/aboutbt