Barnstaple primed for super-fast broadband roll-out
Town named as one of 24 South West locations to receive fibre connection.
BARNSTAPLE has been named in a list of South West locations set to benefit from a ‘super-fast’ internet broadband connection.
BT has announced that the town is among 24 places due to be upgraded with fibre broadband in 2113, part of the company’s �2.5 billion roll-out to homes and businesses.
The news follows an announcement in June that Bideford will be the first North Devon town to receive the same upgrade next year.
The new connection will offer speeds many times faster than those currently available to most UK homes and businesses, with typical download speeds of up to 80Mbps.
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Internet users with a fibre broadband connection will be able to download a film, watch a television 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. High-resolution photos can be uploaded to Facebook in seconds.
Jon Reynolds, BT’s South West Regional director, said fibre broadband opened up ‘a whole new, high speed world’.
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He said: “This latest major investment will help the South West to overcome the current economic challenges and take full advantage of the upturn when it comes.
“Digital technology is fundamental to how we live and work – and in an increasingly connected world, high-speed communications will become even more essential in the years ahead.
“Research suggests fibre broadband could give a �143 million boost to a typical town’s economy and create 225 new jobs and 140 new businesses within 15 years.
“The fibre broadband network we’re building today will underpin the local economy for many years to come – and we’re keen to go further, working with the public sector to take technology to places outside current commercial roll-out plans.
“The arrival of fibre broadband in each of these new locations will revolutionise the way people use the internet for work, education and connecting with public services.”
Ben Rhodes, chief executive of the Devon and Cornwall Business Council, said: “The announcement by BT is helping to deliver world class broadband infrastructure across the South West.
“Everyone recognises the importance of super-fast broadband, not just for its contribution to the local economy and potential to create new businesses and jobs, but for every aspect of modern life.
“In the current economic climate, such an investment is to be greatly welcomed. But longer-term it’s also essential that people and organisations take up this exciting technology and make the most of the new network.”
Pete Ashton, South West policy representative of the Federation of Small Businesses, also welcomed the news of more fibre broadband being rolled out.
He said: “It gives a boost to local business and encourages more businesses to relocate into the South West, creating more opportunities for small business and employment alike, making our economy far more sustainable,” he said.