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Our broadband strategy 'sustainable, upgradable' and meets current demands - BT

Wednesday, December 3rd 2014 by Ellen Branagh

The broadband infrastructure currently being deployed meets the demands of most people today, according to a senior BT figure.

Ed Hunt, programme director for Superfast Cymru, said that although data consumption is likely to increase in the future, the current network is sustainable, upgradeable and meets the demands of the majority of people.

Mr Hunt’s comments come after a Cable.co.uk poll revealed that more than eight out of 10 internet users think that 1Gbps broadband is not necessary for the average UK household.

Asked about the poll results, Mr Hunt said: “We all want to drive Ferraris, not all of us are able to afford Ferraris and perhaps we don’t all need to be travelling along the motorway at 150-160mph speeds.

“I think our data consumption is going to go up in the future but I think what we’ve been deploying is a sustainable, upgradeable network that meets the demands that we see today.”

He said a report produced last year showed that in 2023 the average family will still only need somewhere around 40Mbps and with BT’s fibre to the cabinet connection, you could have several 4k streams running in parallel.

“So I think the infrastructure is right for the majority of people at the moment and for those that want more of course you’ve got things like fibre-on-demand and products coming out that BT is now selling if you wanted, let’s say, 330Mbps.”

He said that the Superfast Cymru project, which aims to bring connectivity to more than 96% of homes and businesses in Wales by 2016, also involves rolling out fibre to the premises.

The project’s latest milestone is the installation of fibre to the premises connections to the village of Dinas Mawddwy, Gwynedd, bringing speeds of up to 330Mbps and Mr Hunt said that some rural parts of Wales had like Dinas Mawddwy and the Llyn Peninsula had gone from zero Mbps to "speeds comparable with anywhere in the world".

Cable.co.uk’s poll revealed asked visitors to the site: “What do you think is the minimum necessary broadband speed for the average household?” Of the 295 respondents, 85.76% chose speeds below 1Gbps as the minimum necessary speed.

The largest majority of respondents (30.17%) felt that over 20Mbps but less than 50Mbps was the ideal speed for typical consumers.

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