Super-fast fibre broadband goes live in Dorchester


WEBWIRE – Wednesday, December 19, 2012

More than 7,000 local homes and businesses to benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out;
news welcomed by West Dorset MP the Rt Hon Oliver Letwin and Dorset County Council

High-speed fibre broadband is now available to the first homes and businesses in Dorchester, BT announced today.

More than 7,000 local households and firms are joining the high-speed revolution as engineers complete the local investment in the coming weeks.

Dorchester follows other Dorset locations, such as Poole, Portland, Lytchett Minster, Southbourne, Westbourne, Boscombe, Verwood and Blandford where fibre broadband is already available.

Weymouth, Lyme Regis, Ferndown and Sherborne are among the Dorset communities also due to be upgraded in the future. By the end of next year more than 200,000 Dorset homes and businesses and more than 1.4 million premises across the South West will be able to benefit as a result of BT’s £2.5 billion fibre broadband 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 public sector to reach parts of the South West that lie outside its commercial fibre broadband plans.

Jon Reynolds, BT’s South West regional director, said: “BT’s fibre network is expanding rapidly across the South West bringing a boost for local economies wherever it goes. Research suggests that within 15 years fibre broadband could bolster the economy of a typical town by £143 million and create 225 new jobs, 140 new start-up businesses and 1,000 more homeworkers 1.

“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 broadband in Dorchester 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

Jon Reynolds added: “Our ambition doesn’t stop with our commercial roll-out. We’re keen to work with the public sector to extend fibre broadband to the remaining parts of the country that are harder to reach. Reaching two-thirds of the country 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 demand 4 in any area where fibre broadband has been deployed. FTTP-on-demand will offer the top current download speed of 330Mbps 3. According to the regulator Ofcom, the current average UK broadband speed is 9Mbps.

The Rt Hon Oliver Letwin, MP for West Dorset, said: “This latest BT investment is very good news for my constituents, particularly in these economically challenging times. Super-fast broadband will create new opportunities for Dorchester, giving our businesses a competitive edge as well as opening new doors for people of every age and background. It has the power to transform every aspect of life, including lifelong learning, healthcare and the way we all work and play.”

Peter Speroni, Superfast Dorset programme manager for Dorset County Council, said: “BT’s roll-out of super-fast broadband in Dorchester is one of the most important recent improvements for our local businesses and households. Increasingly, high-speed communications are an essential part of everyday life, whether you are working in an office, improving your education at home or just wanting to download a film or programme on-line. It is a vital part of ensuring our community’s future prosperity.”

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.



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