By Maximilian Clarke

BT today announced that it is to extend the reach of its super-fast broadband network in Milton Keynes.

Bradwell Abbey in the town has been at the forefront of BT’s plans to roll-out super-fast broadband to homes and businesses across the UK by trialling fibre to the premises (FTTP) super-fast broadband.

Residents and businesses have been “test-driving” this brand new technology and BT today revealed that 20,000 more homes and businesses in Bradwell Abbey will be able to receive super-fast broadband by the end of 2012. Around 9,600 homes and businesses will be able to receive service over FTTP and 10,700 will be served by BT’s fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) super-fast fibre-based broadband.

Around 11,000 homes and businesses are already within reach of the FTTP technology and today’s announcement means that about 95 per cent of premises served by the Bradwell Abbey exchange will have access to faster broadband through a mix of FTTP and FTTC technologies.

FTTC, delivered to street cabinets, currently offers download speeds of up to 40Mbps with up to 10Mbps upstream. Openreach has said it will roughly double these speeds next year. FTTP, where the fibre goes directly to homes and businesses, offers speeds of up to 100Mbps, rising to up to 300Mbps in the spring. This compares with 6.8Mbps, the average actual speed of all UK broadband according to Ofcom’s latest research published in July 2011.

Cllr David Hopkins, Milton Keynes Council deputy leader and cabinet member IT, said: “We welcome this further BT investment of high-speed technology in Bradwell Abbey and the enhancements it will make to our communications.

“Faster broadband services are vital to Milton Keynes and we are keen to ensure that everyone has access to this technology and to help empower businesses and households to harness its potential.”

John Weaver, BT South East regional director, said: “This latest major investment is a tremendous boost for Milton Keynes. Super-fast broadband will be welcomed by families throughout these areas because it will help improve their quality of life and leisure and open new doors through online learning and fast access to information and services. And it’s also going to provide a huge fillip for businesses and these areas’ economy. At a stroke, small and medium sized firms will have access to big business speeds at much lower costs allowing them to find new markets, boost their competitiveness and create new jobs.

“Faster upstream speeds are a boon for flexible and remote working, slashing office overheads and improving employees’ work-life balance. Large graphic and video files can be sent immediately online instead of being physically delivered to customers on hard disk. And high quality voice and video calls will enable businesses to save time travelling to clients without losing direct customer contact.

“We are making rapid progress with super-fast broadband across the UK. More than six million homes and businesses can now access the high-speed technology and last month we announced that two-thirds of UK premises will have access by the end of 2014, a year earlier than planned.”

Internet users with a fibre broadband connection can do much more online, all at the same time. A family can download a movie, watch a TV replay service, surf the net and play games online simultaneously. The latest chart hit can be downloaded in around two seconds, a CD in 30 seconds and a feature length HD film in 10 minutes.

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