Published: May 15, 2013
High-speed fibre broadband Web access launches in Burnham-On-Sea

High-speed fibre broadband is now available to thousands of homes and businesses across Burnham-On-Sea, BT announced on Wednesday.

More than 4,000 households and firms in the town now have access and this will soon increase to more than 10,500 premises as engineers complete the upgrade in the coming weeks.

It means Internet download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps are now available in Burnham for the first time, depending on your Internet provider.

It follows launches in other Somerset towns, including Bridgwater, Glastonbury, Weston-Super-Mare, Taunton, Bath and Yeovil where the high-speed technology is already available.

By the end of Spring 2014 about 226,000 Somerset homes and businesses - and about 1.5 million across the South West - will be able to benefit as a result of the £2.5 billion fibre broadband roll-out programme by BT.

The company is also working in partnership with the public sector to reach parts of the South West that lie outside its commercial fibre broadband plans.

Jon Reynolds, BT’s South West regional director, told "BT’s fibre network is expanding rapidly across the South West bringing a boost for local economies wherever it goes. Research suggests that within 15 years fibre broadband could bolster the economy of a typical town by £143 million and create 225 new jobs, 140 new start-up businesses and 1,000 more homeworkers."

"As about one and a half million UK households and businesses have already discovered, fibre broadband opens up a whole new world to internet users. Whatever you’re doing online, you can do it better and faster with fibre. It’s great for education, shopping, entertainment, the social networking we now carry out routinely online and it also offers huge benefits for businesses and public services."

"The arrival of fibre can really help local firms in these economically challenging times, opening up new ways of working and speeding up vital operations, such as file and data transfers, conferencing and computer back-up, all of which may also help cut costs."

He added: "Our ambition doesn’t stop with our commercial roll-out. The Connecting Devon and Somerset partnership, of which BT is a major partner, will make a major contribution to making faster broadband available in more challenging areas not included in our commercial plans."

And Cllr David Hall, deputy leader of Somerset County Council, told "Today’s announcement by BT is fantastic news. The people and businesses of Burnham-On-Sea will benefit hugely from this investment. Superfast fibre broadband has the power to transform lives and change the way people access public sector services. It also has the potential to transform the local economy, enabling businesses to work more effectively, access new markets, work flexibly, collaborate and innovate."

"I very much look forward to future announcements, as we work with our partner BT to deliver the Connecting Devon and Somerset programme, which aims to deliver high-speed fibre broadband to around 90 per cent of premises by the end of 2016, and to ensure a minimum of 2Mbps broadband speeds for all."

Openreach, BT’s local network business, is primarily deploying fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, where the fibre runs from the exchange to a local roadside cabinet. FTTC offers download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps and could deliver even faster speeds in the future.

From Spring 2013 Openreach aims to start to make fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, where the fibre runs all the way to the home or business, commercially available on demand in areas where fibre broadband has been deployed. FTTP-on-demand will offer the top current download speed of 330Mbps. According to the regulator Ofcom, the current average UK broadband speed is 12Mbps.

At home, fibre broadband enables a family to simultaneously download a movie, watch a TV replay service, surf the internet and play games online all at the same time. A whole album can be downloaded in less than 30 seconds and a feature length HD movie in less than 10 minutes, whilst high-resolution photos can be uploaded to Facebook in seconds.

Openreach offers fibre broadband access to all Internet service providers on an open, wholesale basis, underpinning a competitive market. For further information,

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