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BT Trumpets the Impact of a Superfast Broadband Boost for UK Businesses

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 (7:59 am) - Score 426
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At present around 6,000 businesses in Cornwall have taken one of BT’s “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) services and the operator has surveyed 224 of those in order to demonstrate the economic benefits of upgrading, with the operator estimating that the technology has helped to create 611 new jobs and safeguard another 807 (i.e. 21% attributed either a created or safeguarded job to superfast broadband).

So far the Superfast Cornwall scheme, which is supported by an investment of up to £78.5 million from BT and £53.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), has helped to make the operators FTTC and FTTP network available to 90% of homes and businesses in the region and the target is to reach 95% by the end of 2014 (includes the Isles of Scilly).

The SERIO survey, which only included businesses that had been using a “fibre broadband” product for 12 months or longer (note: overall 2,656 of the 6,000 businesses fell into this group), also reported that 52% of firms felt as if the service had enabled them to grow and 79% indicated that it had saved them time or money. Elsewhere 55% said FTTC/P had allowed them to work in new and different ways and 49% noted an improvement from remote working.

Nigel Ashcroft, Superfast Cornwall Programme Director for the CDC, said:

The latest research shows very clearly the great benefits that superfast broadband is bringing to Cornwall, particularly when you bear in mind this has been achieved during the difficult economic conditions of recent times. In fact, we believe that the number of jobs created or safeguarded could be much higher than even this survey indicates because the estimate is based on the number of businesses which have been using fibre broadband for at least 12 months, whereas more than twice this number of firms are now using the service.

The technology is providing an important and lasting boost to the Cornish business community, helping them find new opportunities and ways of working. Business support and advice is a key part of the Superfast Cornwall programme. The partnership has been careful to develop a programme, which not only creates a network that will stand Cornwall in good stead for many years to come, but also ensures local firms and households are able to take full advantage.”

However it’s also worth remembering that there are still a few areas where BT has rolled out FTTC/P to local homes but left some predominantly business areas and estates in the middle or at the edge uncovered, which has in the past resulted in some accusations of BT attempting to protect their lucrative leased line business.

Never the less the national Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) goal of bringing superfast broadband (25Mbps+) services to 95% of the United Kingdom by 2017 (99% by 2018 if you include wireless and mobile solutions) should eventually help to close those gaps.

Indeed bringing better connectivity to more remote areas will also give businesses greater flexibility to setup operations outside of urban areas and to foster those that are already established in more rural locations. But some may still have to wait a few more years before they can benefit and covering the final 1-5% will be difficult. Not to mention the possibility of a policy change after next year’s general election.

Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Avatar FibreFred

    Good to dispel the myth that FTTC is only available (by design) to home consumers and not businesses

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