By Ben Simmons

More than 9,400 householders and firms in Childwall, Liverpool, and over 2,300 in Rainford, St Helens, are poised to join in high-speed broadband revolution as engineers complete the local upgrades in the coming weeks.

This latest development will take the number of premises in Merseyside with access to the high-speed technology to around 74,000.

It is already available in Allerdale, Birkdale, Formby, Heswall, Lark Lane, the Royal telephone exchange area of Liverpool and Stanley.

And further major investment is under way; BT has announced plans for its super-fast fibre network to pass more than 240,000 more Merseyside premises later this year.

The communications company’s local network business, Openreach, expects to make super-fast fibre broadband available to around two-thirds of UK homes and businesses by the end of 2014. It will use a mix of fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP) technologies. Both offer speeds much faster than those currently available to many UK homes and businesses.

FTTC, where fibre is delivered to the street cabinet, offers download speeds of up to 40Mbps and upload speeds of up to 10Mbps. Openreach recently announced it will roughly double these speeds this Spring. FTTP, where fibre runs all the way to homes and businesses, currently offers download speeds of up to 100Mbps and these too, are expected to be soon boosted to up to 300Mbps this Spring.

By Spring 2013 BT aims to make speeds of up to 300Mbps commercially available in any area where super-fast fibre broadband has been deployed potentially transforming the competitiveness of businesses.*

Mike Blackburn, BT’s North West regional director, said: “The arrival of super-fast broadband in Childwall and Rainford is a huge boost for local businesses and households. These are economically challenging times and super-fast broadband can transform their experience of the internet. They’re joining the more than seven million UK premises now passed by one of the world’s fastest growing fibre networks.

“Fast and reliable internet connections are an essential part of our national infrastructure, whether we want them for boosting our businesses, delivering essential public services , education online or entertainment at home. Nobody is doing more than BT to roll-out faster broadband across the region and we want to go further.

“The local authority, along with key local business organisations, are keen to get fibre broadband to as many local homes and businesses as possible and so we will offer our help and assistance to make that happen whilst ensuring that speeds are boosted in general.

“Internet users with a super-fast connection can do much more online, all at the same time. Upload speeds are the fastest in the UK and can deliver a major boost to the competitiveness of local businesses, offering them new ways of working flexibly and allowing large data and video files to be sent and received almost instantly. Other benefits include wider use of high quality videoconferencing and faster back-up of computer systems.”

At home a family could be simultaneously downloading a movie, watching a TV replay service, surfing the internet and playing games online. A music track can be downloaded in about two seconds, a whole album in 30 seconds and a feature length HD movie in 10 minutes, whilst high-resolution photos can be uploaded to Facebook in seconds.

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