More than 12,600 local homes and businesses to benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out; news welcomed by Joe FitzPatrick MSP
HIGH-speed fibre broadband is now available to the first homes and businesses in Dundee’s Fairmuir exchange area, BT announced today.
More than 12,600 local households and firms are joining the high-speed revolution as engineers complete the local investment in the coming weeks.
Dundee Fairmuir, which covers areas of the city including Downfield, St Mary’s, Ardler and Bridgefoot, follows Dundee Broughty Ferry and Dundee Park, where fibre is already available.
Dundee Baxter is also due to be upgraded and by the end of next year nearly 39,900 homes and businesses across Dundee City will be able to benefit as a result of BT’s £2.5 billion fibre roll-out programme.
BT is set to announce further UK locations in the coming months that will benefit from its commercial roll out of fibre broadband. The company is also seeking to work in partnership with the Scottish Government and its agencies to reach parts of the country that lie outside its commercial footprint.
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “BT’s fibre network is expanding across Dundee City, bringing a boost for local economies wherever it goes. Research suggests that within 15 years fibre broadband could bolster the economy of a typical city by £296 million boost and create around 430 new jobs and 320 new start-up businesses1.
“As more than a million households and businesses have already discovered, fibre broadband opens up a whole new world to internet users. Whatever you’re doing online, you can do it better and faster with fibre. It’s great for education, shopping, entertainment, the social networking we now carry out routinely online and it also offers huge benefits for businesses and public services.
“The arrival of fibre in Dundee Fairmuir can really help local firms in these economically challenging times, opening up new ways of working and speeding up vital operations, such as file and data transfers, conferencing and computer back-up, all of which may also help cut costs.”
BT’s fibre footprint currently passes more than 12 million UK homes and businesses. It is expanding all the time and is now due to pass two-thirds of UK premises – around 19 million premises – during Spring 2014, at least 18 months ahead of the original timetable. 2
Brendan Dick added: “Our ambition doesn’t stop with our commercial roll-out. We’re keen to play a role with the Scottish Government in delivering its digital ambition to extend fibre broadband to the remaining parts of Scotland which are harder to reach. Delivering our commercial plans to cover two-thirds of the UK early will mean we’re well positioned to place an even greater focus on the challenge of the final third.”
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 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps3 and could deliver even faster speeds in the future.
From Spring 2013 Openreach aims to make fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, where the fibre runs all the way to the home or business, commercially available on demand4 in any area where fibre broadband has been deployed. FTTP-on-demand will offer the top current download speed of 330Mbps3. According to the regulator Ofcom, the current average UK broadband download speed is 9Mbps.
Dundee City West MSP Joe FitzPatrick said: “I’m delighted that homes and businesses in my constituency are to benefit from high-speed fibre broadband in the next few weeks through BT’s £2.5 billion fibre roll-out programme.
“Dundee will benefit enormously from superfast broadband. It will be very helpful to our digital and creative industries and the computer games sector.
“Improving Scotland’s digital connectivity is forecast to create hundreds of new jobs and to support around 14,000 jobs in the wider Scottish economy over the next 15 years including in key new sectors like e-commerce and digital engineering.
“Super-fast fibre broadband will not only boost jobs, it will transform the business sector and attract new inward investment.
“It’s not just about business and industry, though; home computer users will reap the social and cultural benefits of the internet too through faster broadband.”
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.
Unlike other companies, Openreach offers fibre broadband access to all service providers on an open, wholesale basis, underpinning a competitive market. For further information on Openreach’s fibre broadband programme visit www.superfast-openreach.co.uk
Notes to editors
1 Research taken from Social Study 2012 – The Economic Impact of BT across the UK by Regeneris Consulting – see www.btsocialstudy.co.uk for more information.
2 BT’s deployment plans are subject to an acceptable environment for investment.
3 These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
4 Openreach will levy an installation charge for FTTP on demand. It will be up to service providers to decide whether they pass that on to businesses or consumers wishing to use the product.
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.