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BT connects first 330Mbps fibre broadband customer in Northern Ireland

BT’s first FTTP customer in Northern Ireland can now enjoy the delights of Netflix without batting an eye. 

Rowan Sheridan’s crusty old ADSL connection was previously only giving download speeds of 0.5Mbps and would give out on him if he did something so daring as send a large file to work colleagues. 

Now he’s got enjoying something more suited to 21st century life, Sheridan and his partner can quite literally go about their business. 

Sheridan said: “I rely on fast access to the cloud, for downloading and uploading important work files from home. Previously if I had to upload a large file it would kill my internet connection for a day. 

“Now I can upload files and continue working as normal and at the same time my partner has been able to watch Netflix without any interference.” 

Provided he’s got the cash to splash on a fancy new 4K TV, Sheridan’s now able to enjoy the likes of Breaking Bad in glorious Ultra HD

Read our feature on BT’s future plans for G.fast and gigabit fibreWhile that’s great news for one household, it’s unclear how many others in Northern Ireland will be able to get from FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) broadband from BT. 

The Northern Ireland Broadband Improvement Project aims to make superfast broadband – anything delivering speeds of at least 24Mbps – available to 45,000 premises across Northern Ireland. 

According to the latest news from Superfast Northern Ireland, 90 per cent of premises in the country can order FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet)-based services from a range of ISPs. 

Typically, the BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) projects which are co-funded by a mix of local and central government money as well as cash from BT, make FTTP lines available to a smaller percentage of superfast premises than FTTC. 

The NI DIrect site reveals that a number of postcodes in County Down, Londonderry/Derry and County Tyrone are due to see improvements by March 31, but it’s not clear if this means extending availability of FTTC or FTTP. 

While FTTC provides a much higher top speed than what’s possible on last-gen ADSL lines, your top speeds will still depend on your location. FTTP connections by contrast are more desirable as they’re not affected by this distance difference. 

Frank McManus, head of wholesale sales and services at BT Ireland said that ‘a number’ of locations within the project are in line to get FTTP, without saying how many. BT spokespeople have been unable to clarify who might be next in line for FTTP from the project. 

The Northern Ireland Broadband Improvement Project is due to be completed by the end of December 2015. 

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