BT has announced that it’s signed two superfast broadband contracts that will see it connecting the majority of Oxfordshire and Worcestershire to superfast broadband.
Both the deals will see BT rolling out fibre-based broadband connections to at least 90 per cent of homes and firms across the two counties by the end of 2015.
The majority of locations will benefit from FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) broadband which provides top download speeds of 80Mbps and uploads of 20Mbps. A lucky few will get the faster FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) type of connection which provides top download speeds of 330Mbps and uploads of 30Mbps.
Read Recombu Digital’s guide to BT’s Broadband Rollout UpdatesThose in the last 10 per cent will get a basic 2Mbps service, delivered by bonded DSL or satellite broadband.
BT is already rolling out superfast connections across two-thirds of the UK under it’s own steam. The money handed to it through these BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) contracts will see it extend superfast connections into predominantly rural areas.
The Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme will make superfast broadband available to more than 64,000 homes and businesses across the county by its completion. Superfast Worcestershire will benefit roughly 55,000 families and firms.
Speaking to Recombu Digital Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT, said: “Both counties want to deliver at least 90 per cent before 2015. But once the initial surveying work is done here we can expect to hear news of ambitious plans to take this further and bring faster broadband to as many customers as possible.”
Murphy said that as both counties are predominantly rural, there will be challenges in terms of siting cabinets and delivering superfast to out of reach areas. FTTC will be stretched as far as it can go, with the more robust and future-proofed FTTP being used in areas where FTTC isn’t viable.
Councillor Nick Carter, cabinet member for business and customer services for Oxfordshire, said: “Oxfordshire is the most rural county in the South East, so we have had to be pragmatic in trying to extend the social and economic benefits of broadband to as many homes and businesses as possible.
“Without this intervention there is a danger that rural areas would be seriously disadvantaged, amounting to as much as a third of the county.”
Councillor John Campion, Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member for transformation and commissioning, added: “This broadband infrastructure will bring great benefits for businesses and for local people of all ages as faster broadband speeds are essential to access technology developments.
“From accessing services and learning opportunities online to assistive technology for older people and supporting homeworking, this investment really will make a difference to local people’s daily lives.”
Oxfordshire and Worcestershire will continue to work with BDUK and BT to secure additional funding to enable their programme to deliver more than 90 per cent. Work is expected to begin imminently once initial survey work has been completed, so we can expect updates on both projects soon.
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