More homes to get super-fast broadband

SUFFOLK: Around 14,000 more homes and businesses in Kesgrave and Haverhill will be among the next to benefit from BT’s �2.5billion roll-out of super-fast broadband, the telecoms giant announced yesterday.

AROUND 14,000 more homes and businesses in Kesgrave and Haverhill will be among the next to benefit from BT’s �2.5billion roll-out of super-fast broadband, the telecoms giant announced yesterday.

The two Suffolk exchange areas are among 159 new locations, covering more than a million homes and businesses in total, which will be upgraded by autumn 2011.

The technology, which is being put in place by Openreach, BT’s local network business, will be available on an open, wholesale basis to all companies providing broadband services.

Subject to “an acceptable environment for investment”, BT is planning to deliver fibre-based broadband for up to two thirds of homes and businesses in the UK.

Super-fast broadband, using fibre to street cabinets (FTTC), offers much faster download speeds of up to 40Mbps (megabits per second), potentially rising to 60Mbps, and upstream speeds of 10Mbps, which could rise to 15Mbps in the future.

BT is also trialling fibre to the premise (FTTP) broadband services, at download speeds of up to 100Mbps.

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The fibre plans build on existing initiatives such as the upgrade of its existing copper network to deliver faster broadband speeds of up to 20Mbps to around 20 % of UK homes and businesses already enabled.

Peter McCarthy-Ward, BT regional director for the East of England, said: “This latest investment in super-fast broadband is great news for many homes and businesses in the East of England.

“Fibre broadband has the power to revolutionise the way we use the internet. It has huge implications for the way we live, learn and do business, with massive opportunities for entertainment, education and entrepreneurs. People in the East of England will soon be able to experience the internet as they’ve never seen it before.

“We want to extend the fibre footprint and the benefits it brings to the final third of the UK where the economics pose a major challenge, but this will require a collective effort.

“An infrastructure project on this scale – arguably as important to the future of the East of England as the road or rail networks – can only be done in partnership. We’re keen to talk to public and private sector organisations about how this can be achieved.

“Many factors are taken into account when making the tough decisions about where to focus our investment. We’re working on ways to give people more of an opportunity to demonstrate where demand for next generation broadband is the greatest,” he added.

Super-fast speeds give customers greater flexibility in how they use the internet, with much faster downloads (a music track could be downloaded in five seconds) and much easier uploads of photos and videos.

Internet users can run multiple bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time, so that some members of a family could be watching different high definition (HD) movies or 3D TV, while others are gaming or working on complex graphics or video projects.

For businesses, the new network will be the catalyst for many new services and applications.

Computer processing and file storage will become more sophisticated and secure using “cloud” computing technology.

There will be faster back-up of computer systems and wider use of high quality video conferencing in firms and between them and their customers.

Although most premises in fibre-based broadband areas will be able to access the new super-fast services, BT has warned that a minority may not initially be able to do so due to a variety of technical and commercial reasons.

BT said yesterday that Openreach was “actively looking at alternative solutions” for the locations affected.

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