West Berkshire UK Begins BT and BDUK Fibre Broadband Rollout

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By Mark Jackson, ISPreview UK | July 16th, 2014

The £8.06m Superfast Berkshire project, which is working to deploy BT’s “high-speed fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network to “around” 91% of local premises by the end of September 2015 (possibly reaching 95% by 2017), has finally begun its roll-out and revealed the first few communities to benefit.

The first areas to benefit this month will be around 2,500 properties in the villages of Burghfield and Burghfield Common (note: 2000 of those will be upgraded through BT’s commercial investment, while the other 500 are part of the above Broadband Delivery UK scheme). After that the next to benefit will be 1,000 premises in Mortimer and another 100 in Purley on Thames (all are due this month).

Overall the project initially aims to reach roughly 20,000 premises over the next couple of years and the vast majority of those are being promised superfast broadband speeds of greater than 24Mbps (Megabits per second). It should be noted that BT’s existing commercial roll-out has already made FTTC/P connectivity available to most of the county (around 320,000 homes and businesses).

Bill Murphy, BT’s Managing Director for NGA, said:

It is great news that by working together efficiently and effectively the partnership has been able to reach this important stage on schedule. This investment in fibre broadband will boost the local economy and help to create and protect local jobs across the whole of Berkshire, including rural communities like Burghfield Common. It will be of enormous benefit to local businesses which can use the faster speeds to improve their competitiveness both within the UK and abroad.”

Roger Croft, West Berkshire’s Executive Councillor for ICT, said:

It’s great to see the first cabinet in place offering fibre broadband. The Superfast Berkshire project is set to be a success story right across the county with thousands of additional properties reaping the benefits.”

A useful breakdown of anticipated coverage for each Berkshire district can be found here and the Latest Progress page also includes details of the Street Cabinets surveyed as part of the first two deployment phases.