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Superfast fibre broadband for more City of London premises

Friday, September 25th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

More premises in the City of London will benefit from superfast broadband speeds as part of the latest rollout in the capital.

Fibre broadband will be made available to extra homes and businesses over the next two years, BT said, taking its total coverage in the City to around 5,000 premises.

The City of London is the

The rollout will increase overall fibre availability across London, taking all networks into account, from around 90-95%, BT said.

The work in the City of London is part of an extra £50m earmarked by BT – which is spending more than £3bn on Openreach’s nationwide fibre deployment – for UK cities last year.

Earlier this week, BT CEO Gavin Patterson pledged that the company would support the government in providing universal broadband speeds of 5-10Mbps.

At the company’s Delivering Britain's Digital Future conference, Mr Patterson outlined four pledges that also included expanding the reach of fibre broadband beyond 95%; taking the UK from a superfast nation to an ultrafast one; and raising the bar on service.

As the latest fibre expansion in the capital was announced, Andrew Campling, BT’s general manager for London, said: “I’m delighted that BT is able to make a further investment in fibre broadband within the City of London.

“Whilst fibre broadband is already available to the vast majority of premises across London, we’ve been exploring options that will enable us to expand our coverage in the City, working closely with the City of London Corporation on a number of trials.

“Given feedback that we’ve had to date, I’m confident that the residents and businesses in the additional parts of the City where fibre broadband will now become available will be very pleased.”

Left behind

According to BT, the Openreach fibre network is already the largest in London, covering nearly 3m homes and businesses.

The telecoms firm said London is one of the best-connected cities in the world, and cited a PwC report ‘Cities of Opportunity 6’ that put the capital second only to Seoul as the best in the world for broadband quality.

But last month, an MP said London is lagging behind other European cities of similar size when it comes to broadband, including Bucharest and Vilnius.

In a letter to digital minister Ed Vaizey, Bob Neill (Con – Bromley & Chislehurst) said poor broadband means London is being left behind other cities – both in the UK and abroad .

Mr Neill, who is co-chairing a new All-Party Parliamentary Group on London, said London has an average download speed of 27.4Mbps – around half that in many other European cities.

“Indeed, the list of those we drastically lag behind not only includes cities of comparable size and status, such as Paris, but others further afield including Bucharest, Vilnius, Stockholm and Bern.

“As I am sure you can appreciate, this is, on one level, incredibly frustrating for homeowners in constituencies like mine who understandably expect, living within 10 miles of central London, an adequate coverage.

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