BT has been selected to connect up to 90 per cent of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire homes and firms to superfast fibre-based broadband.
The ambitious project is due to be completed by March 2016 and will see faster broadband speeds reaching more than 52,500 locations across the two counties.
Speeds of up to 80Mbps will be available to residents connected to FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) connections. FTTC will be the main technology used but we understand that some places will benefit from faster FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) lines as well.
Read Recombu Digital’s guides to Fibre Broadband and BDUK and BT Broadband Rollout UpdatesThose in the remaining 10 per cent will be guaranteed a speed of at least 2Mbps, which is likely to be delivered either by bonded DSL lines or satellite broadband.
Andrew Percival and Michael Garvey, representing Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Buckinghamshire (Thames Valley) Local Enterprise Partnership respectively, said:
“Both Local Enterprise Partnerships are pleased to see the project reach this important milestone. This investment will enable enterprises and business parks to reap the benefits of superfast connectivity, enhancing the prospects for business growth, job creation and economic competitiveness.”
BT will connect over 38,500 premises in Buckinghamshire and 14,000 in Hertfordshire. This is in addition to those families and businesses in the counties that will already be connected under BT’s own £2.5 billion network build.
Bill Murphy, BT’s Managing Director, Next Generation Access, added: “This is fantastic news and this project will move Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire well and truly into the broadband fast lane. We’re already seeing the positive impact that faster, fibre broadband is having and now, thanks to this partnership, this investment will further boost the position of the two counties as being among the leading creators of new businesses.”
BT’s FTTP connections provide top speeds of up to 330Mbps and speeds don’t decrease over distance, something which affects FTTC connections to some degree. Those who are getting FTTC can if they wish pay to upgrade their line to FTTP to enjoy faster speeds. BT has demonstrated that its full fibre lines can handle speeds of up to 10Gbps, so an investment in FTTP would future proof any connection as well.
The UK’s biggest ISP will be chipping in £8.6 million to fund the project while Hertfordshire County Council and Buckinghamshire County Council are contributing £1.61 million and £3.7 million each. The UK government’s BDUK fund will also be contributing £4.15million.
The first locations across the counties are expected to be connected in mid-March 2014.