Faster broadband on way to more homes
By Western Gazette - North Dorset | Thursday, July 19, 2012, 08:00
BETTER broadband is on its way to south Somerset as part of a £2.5-billion investment by BT across the UK.
The telecommunications company is rolling out high speed fibre broadband across the nation and plans to bring the service to 41,700 South West homes in the next two years.
Fibre broadband is already available in places in Somerset such as Bath, Bridgwater, Taunton and Wellington. It will become available in Yeovil later this year.
There are also plans to roll out fibre broadband in many parts of Dorset including Dorchester, Shaftesbury and Weymouth by 2014, but no plans yet to bring the scheme to Sherborne.
There are already planning applications in to South Somerset District Council to install Openreach broadband cabinets on land at South Street, The Park and Hendford in Yeovil as well as Stoford.
Yeovil will be the first town in south Somerset to benefit from faster broadband and it is hoped the upgrade will create new businesses and hundreds of local jobs for the town.
BT says recent research by Regeneris Consulting predicts that over the next 15 years BT's fibre broadband could give the economy of a typical town a £143-million boost, create 225 new jobs and 140 new start-up businesses.
Jon Reynolds, South West regional director, said: "The arrival of fibre broadband in these Somerset communities is a massive shot in the arm for the local economy, creating new businesses, jobs and educational opportunities.
"The benefits are major and wide ranging. As our new fibre network expands across the South West it also brings new potential for offering essential public services on-line and cost savings."
Rupert Cox, chief executive for Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said: "This is excellent news for many people. Reliable, fast connections can make all the difference to education and business, and give people much greater scope for interaction with the world around them.
"In a tough economic climate, this local investment from BT will help make the county an even better place to live, work and do business."
Fibre broadband offers speeds many times faster than those currently available to most UK homes and businesses.
BT says 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.
A whole album can be downloaded in less than 30 seconds and a feature length HD movie in less than 10 minutes, while high-resolution photos can be uploaded to Facebook in seconds.
Mr Reynolds said: "As more and more people get connected to the fibre broadband network, it's increasingly important that those living in our more rural areas don't miss out. Across the UK, public bodies are developing plans to boost broadband speeds in even the most challenging areas."