BT Invests in Ultrafast Broadband in Antrim
11 April 2017
People living in Antrim will be among the first in the UK to benefit from the new ultrafast broadband technology, G.fast, the next generation of broadband technology being developed by BT.
G.fast technology will provide download speeds of up to 330 Megabits per second (Mbps) – more than 10 times the UK national average.
BT plans to make G.fast available to 4000 premises in Antrim during 2017 with an aim of providing availability to 200,000 homes across Northern Ireland by 2020 as part of BT’s target of facilitating G.fast into 10 million homes across the UK.
The G.fast technology, which makes use of existing copper wires, provides a basis for many new services and offers considerable economic benefits.
Mairead Meyer, Managing Director of Networks at BT in Northern Ireland, said: “We are delighted to announce that parts of Antrim will be among the first locations in the UK to get ultrafast speeds using G.fast technology. We recently rolled out ultrafast in Newtownards and it proved very successful for local residents and we look forward to offering Antrim the same benefits.
“More people will now be able to enjoy an affordable ultrafast service, in the fastest possible time. Through co-operation from both local and national government we’ve been able to make this possible.
“We want Northern Ireland to become a world class digital nation and a key part of this is future-proofing our digital infrastructure. We are therefore committed to making G.fast available to homes across Northern Ireland.
“Currently, BT is a leader in providing superfast broadband to our customers. Eight out of ten homes and businesses already have access to superfast speeds with thousands more premises being enabled each week, and we’re working hard to reach the rest, as well as starting to roll out ultrafast speeds.”
Ann McGregor, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, said: “We warmly welcome this announcement given how important access to fast broadband is to the business community.
“Access to fast and effective broadband is integral to the daily operations of many businesses across Northern Ireland and it clearly impacts the productivity and success of business transactions and interactions with customers. It is certainly a priority that is raised by many of our members.”
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor John Scott, added: “This announcement is very good news for Antrim businesses. With a strong creative and digital business sector based in Antrim, access to ultrafast broadband will allow local companies to be able to compete in a global arena.”
Following successful technical trials across the UK, a total of 17 pilot areas are to receive ultrafast broadband including around 140,000 homes and businesses across the UK in 2017 with ultrafast speeds greater than 100Mbps.
Across the UK, more homes and businesses are now using superfast broadband than in Germany, France, Italy or Spain and the UK outperforms the EU’s five largest economies on measures such as availability, speeds and take-up according to Ofcom.
You can find out more about G.fast at www.nibroadband.com