BT has won a contract from the six Berkshire unitary councils which will see it connecting 91 per cent of premises to superfast broadband by September 2015.
The Superfast Berkshire project, partially funded by the government’s BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) money pot, will connect 18,000 premises across the region.
Most places will benefit from the installation of FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) broadband, which provides download speeds of up to 80Mbps and uploads of up to 20Mbps.
Read our guide to BT Broadband Rollout UpdatesThe actual speed you’ll get with an FTTC line will depend on the proximity of your house or business to the street cabinet. The closer you are, the faster your speed.
A handful of locations will get the faster and future-proofed FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) type lines installed instead. These will provide download speeds of up to 330Mbps and speeds don’t depend on your location in the way that FTTC lines do.
Eventually, anyone connected to FTTC on the Openreach network will be able to upgrade to FTTP thanks to the FTTP On Demand programme. This is expensive and is currently only available to business customers. It’s expected that once released to the general public, prices will come down to more affordable levels.
Those not covered by the 91 per cent rollout will get a basic broadband service guaranteeing speeds of at least 2Mbps at all times.
The Superfast Berkshire project is co-funded by the local authorities and the Thames Valley Local Enterprise Project which have contributed £2.03 million. A further £2.03 million comes from BDUK and BT is contributing £4 million to the scheme.
Councillor David Burbage speaking for the Superfast Berkshire project, said: “For many people living and working in rural areas, this is an important day. It gives them confidence that more 21st century technology is within reach and that they will soon be able to enjoy the benefits of faster access to the internet – benefits that some other people have had for some time.”
Bill Murphy, Managing Director of Next Generation access for BT, added: “This is great news for the people living in these areas of Berkshire. It is important to support local economies, as well as helping new development and infrastructure in these communities.
Work is expected to begin next year, with the first premises to be connected in Autumn 2014.