Superfast broadband a ‘shot in the arm’ for Bideford economy

Town to benefit in next phase of �2.5 billion BT broadband rollout.

HIGH-speed broadband will be available to more than 10,000 homes in Bideford next year, BT have announced today (Tuesday).

The town is one of eight South West locations – and the first in North Devon – set to benefit from the latest phase of a �2.5 billion ‘super-fast’ fibre optic roll-out, an announcement being hailed as ‘a massive shot in the arm for the local economy’.

The upgraded 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.

The UK’s current average broadband speed is 7.6Mbps, according to regulator Ofcom.

Councillor Roger Johnson, Torridge District Council’s deputy leader and lead member for economy, said: “This is excellent news for many people in Bideford, who are 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.

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“In a tough economic climate, this local investment from BT will help make Bideford region an even better place to live, work and do business.”

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: “The arrival of fibre broadband in Bideford 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.

“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.”

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