The major investment in the town by BT has been welcomed by Warrington Borough Council as it could help create new businesses and hundreds of local jobs.
High-speed fibre broadband will be rolled out to more than 23,400 homes and businesses in Warrington during 2013. It will take the total number for the whole of Cheshire to more than 306,000, of which around 250,000 already have access.
The investment - part of a £2.5 billion BT roll-out of fibre broadband across the UK - is expected to give a major lift to the local economy. Recent research by Regeneris Consulting predicted 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.
Mike Blackburn, BT’s regional director for the North West, said: “The arrival of fibre broadband in Warrington 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 region it also brings new potential for offering essential public services on-line and cost savings across the sectors.
“Local firms and households who make the switch to fibre broadband will be able to do so much more with their connection, whether they’re using it for business, entertainment, education, social networking or shopping – or all of these at once. They’re joining more than 10 million premises now passed by our fibre network and becoming part of one of the fastest roll-outs of the technology anywhere in the world.”
Steve Parks, chief officer for customer access and technology for Warrington Borough Council, said: "Warrington Borough Council has been working hard to bring further superfast broadband investment and this is excellent news for many people in Warrington. They’re the latest in the region who will soon have access to the next generation of internet services.
“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 region an even better place to live, work and do business.”
BT’s local network business Openreach is making fibre broadband available to around two-thirds of UK homes and businesses by the end of 20141 using a mix of fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP) technologies.
Both offer speeds many times faster than those currently available to most UK homes and businesses. FTTC, where fibre is delivered to the street cabinet, offers download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps2. FTTP, where fibre runs all the way to homes and businesses, offers download speeds of 110Mbps, with 330Mbps2 coming soon.
By spring 2013 BT aims to make speeds of 330Mbps2 commercially available in any area where fibre broadband has been deployed3. The UK’s current average broadband speed is 7.6Mbps, according to the regulator Ofcom.
For further information on Openreach’s fibre broadband programme visit www.superfast-openreach.co.uk