Trevor Higgins, BT’s Regional Partnership Director for Yorkshire and the Humber says that there are exciting times ahead for the region. The multi-million pound rollout of superfast fibre broadband is making a huge difference to the lives of people throughout the area and 2016 will undoubtedly be a landmark year for this vital investment.
It’s one of the largest investments locally in recent times and is transforming the way people use the internet. Each month during 2015, thousands more premises in the region gained access to this high-speed technology thanks to partnerships between BT, local authorities and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme.
This programme has complemented BT’s commercial rollout of fibre broadband with the result that around 1.8 million households and businesses across Yorkshire and the Humber can now place an order for the technology, with around 363,000 already having signed up to a fibre broadband package. The average broadband speed in nearly every county in the region now exceeds 24Mbps. Over the next year fibre rollout will reach into some of the most challenging rural areas.
Our ambition is to ‘never say no’ to any community and we welcome the opportunity to work in partnership to find a suitable and affordable fibre broadband solution. We’ve set out our vision for the UK’s digital future and the significant contribution we can make, subject to regulatory support and the right policy framework. This pledge is focussed around speed, reach, future development of ultrafast broadband and customer service.
Across the country, fibre broadband is now available to more than 24 million. The UK is a broadband leader among major European nations and its position will be boosted further by BT’s plans to get the even more rapid ultrafast broadband to ten million UK premises by the end of 2020 and to the majority of premises within a decade.
There are also big advances in other communications technologies. People on the move have never felt better connected. The latest fourth generation 4G mobile technology is now widely available offering much faster speeds. And over 5 million BT Wi-fi hotspots are operating in the country.
BT has the commitment and ability to make a major contribution to the future success of Yorkshire and the Humber. The tremendous pace of change and the wonderful opportunities emerging from these new technologies mean we’re looking forward to 2016 with a great sense of excitement.