BT explains how it is working with communities and using the latest technologies to roll out fibre broadband. This article appears in the Countryside Alliance’s Autumn 2016 magazine: “BT has invested billions of pounds to roll out fibre broadband as far as possible. With additional Government funding, through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), BT has extended fibre to more challenging rural areas across the UK, to help the Government meet its target of 95% of premises with superfast broadband by 2017. The rollout is advanced, with 25m premises now passed. We want to help ensure that premises amongst the most difficult to reach, the final 5%, can also benefit; the initiatives listed here will help achieve this.”
Community Fibre Broadband Partnerships
This scheme aims to enable all communities to find a fibre solution. We work with communities to agree affordable options to bring fibre to areas not covered by existing rollout plans, providing tools to establish local demand. We have set up a partnership with crowdfunding organisation, Spacehive, to help hard-to-reach communities via a package of co-funding and support. For further information visit www.communityfibre.bt.com/
New Build Sites
High-speed broadband connectivity is a major factor for home buyers. BT has been working with the Government and builders on agreements that will deliver superfast broadband connectivity to new-build properties. This will see fibre-based broadband offered to all new developments either for free or as part of a co-funded initiative. It is estimated that more than half of all new-build properties can be connected to fibre broadband free of charge to developers. For more information please visit www.newdevelopments-openreach.co.uk/
BT is working with BDUK and local authorities to deliver satellite broadband in more remote areas. BT’s subsidised satellite broadband service offers a choice of affordable high-speed broadband packages from a range of retail service providers. Further details can be found here: www.mediaandbroadcast.bt.com/wp-content/uploads/BT-MandB-BDUK-Satellite-Broadband-DS.pdf
Plans for Ultrafast Services
BT wants to take UK broadband from superfast to ultrafast. Openreach plans to deliver ultrafast speeds to 10 million premises by 2020, and to the majority of the UK within a decade, through a combination of fibre-to-the premises and new G.Fast technology with speeds of up to 1Gbps.
If you wish to find out more or discuss any of these areas please contact your BT Regional Partnership Director. Visit www.bt.com/btregions to find out more about your region and who to contact.
Because they could only get internet speeds of around 1-2Mbps, residents in the Leicestershire village of Coleorton partnered with Openreach, BT’s local network business, to bring superfast broadband to their village. People living in Coleorton Hall, a Grade II listed building converted into residential apartments, weren’t included in any fibre broadband plans so approached Openreach to find a solution. Working together, the community and Openreach agreed to jointly fund the fibre build with Openreach contributing the standard amount for a fibre upgrade in line with its commercial model. The community worked together to gap fund the additional costs.
This partnership represented a major milestone nationwide, as Coleorton became the 50th community in the UK to be connected to the fibre broadband network after through community action, working directly with Openreach. A new roadside fibre broadband cabinet was installed just outside the entrance to the Hall, as previously each property was connected by exchange only’ telephone lines.
“We’re committed to working with communities like Coleorton to help them achieve their goal of a fast fibre connection. Rural areas often present the most difficult and complex challenges but working together gives us the best chance possible of finding a suitable and affordable way forward,” Said Kim Mears, Openreach’s managing director for infrastructure delivery.
Enjoying the benefits
It’s not just those living in Coleorton Hall who benefit. Around 120 homes and businesses across the wider village can also sign-up to fibre broadband thanks to the newly installed network. Residents are now enjoying a superfast service on the network, which is open to all communications providers on an equal wholesale basis, enabling them to choose from a number of internet suppliers. They’re enjoying download speeds of up to 80 Mbps.
Bill Murphy, BT’s Managing Director for Next Generation Access, said: “We’ve been very clear that we’ll never say no to any community wanting to work with us. The residents of Coleorton Hall have shown great vision in joining together with Openreach to secure access to the fibre broadband network. It’s a major step forward for the village and fibre opens up endless opportunities for people living and working locally.”
This article appears in the Countryside Alliance’s Autumn magazine. The magazine is sent to members every quarter. To join the Countryside Alliance click here.