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BT boss: We should play a ‘greater role’ in superfast broadband push

Wednesday, July 29th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

BT could be doing more to drive the rollout of fibre broadband in the West Midlands, a boss of the company has said.

Colin Bannon, who has been appointed BT’s regional director for the West Midlands, said maximising the benefits of superfast broadband is key to driving the area’s economic growth.

Describing the West Midlands as an “engine for growth and innovation”, he said he wants BT to play a greater role in both the rollout and the take-up of fibre broadband.

He said the company also has responsibilities as an employer in the region, where it employs more than 6,800 people.

“Technology is developing at such a pace it’s important that no one gets left behind,” Mr Bannon said.

“Faster fibre broadband is a vital tool in helping companies to become more competitive and efficient, as well as saving them time and money.

“At home, the internet is also touching our lives in new and exciting ways.

“People can use fibre broadband to access online services and share information faster than ever before, as well as download music and films more quickly.”

He said BT’s commercial rollout of fibre will enable more than 1.7m of the region’s homes and businesses to access faster fibre broadband.

'Driving the rollout'

The company is also investing in seven Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) projects across the West Midlands, which are working to bring faster fibre to parts of the region where “the technical and economic challenges are greater”, he said.

These partnerships will bring high-speed broadband within reach of an extra 400,000 premises in parts of the Black Country, Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Telford and Wrekin, and Worcestershire.

“We have made excellent progress, but there is still more to do to ensure everyone in the region – whether it’s small businesses, homeworkers, families and other residents – is seizing the benefits of the new technology.”

Mr Bannon, who is also chief technology officer (CTO) for BT Wholesale, was named one of the 50 CTOs to watch by Global Telecoms magazine earlier this year.

He added: “The West Midlands region is an engine for growth and innovation and I want BT to play an even greater role in moving those ambitions forward.

“Whether it’s driving the rollout and take-up of faster fibre broadband, or as a major employer, using our skills and expertise to inspire innovation, BT has an important part to play.”

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