BT to push ultra-fast broadband roll out in Northern Ireland with £20 million investment

Telecom giant BT has revealed that it is injecting a £20 million commercial investment for Northern Ireland. This money will “predominantly” help the deployment of their network, on FTTP tech, capable of 1Gbps, to reach a further 140,000 homes and businesses, by March 2019. This will be the biggest ever commercial investment, claims BT, by any private sector company, and will push Northern Ireland (NI) connectivity from super-fast to ultra-fast. The teleology, capable of one Gigabit speed, is fast enough to download a 2-hour HD movie in 2% seconds, or an HD TV programme of 45 minutes, in 5 seconds.

The present investment compliments BT’s joint investment programmes with the NI government currently underway. When combined the roll-out will, BT suggests, help in connecting nearly a quarter of all premises in NI with ultra-fast broadband . The investment will also involve the recruitment of 42 apprentices and graduates, who will be assigned roles in planning, building and designing of the new fast fibre network. Work will start immediately and further details are expected to be published on the website- nibrodband.com.

It may be recalled that the UK government has signed a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to get the support of ten DUP MPs in Parliament. The deal paves the way for NI to receive £150 million to help provide ultra-fast broadband, but is bogged down currently by a political deadlock over other issues. Meanwhile, it may be noted that Virgin Media has connected over 31% of NI on a 100Mbps+ broadband service and has provided a 24Mbps capable superfast broadband service to about 84% of the country.

BT Northern Ireland’s managing director networks, Mairead Meyer, said they are happy to invest to deliver an ambitious future-proof infrastructure and to be ranked among the best fibre networks in Europe. She pointed out that in the next 18 months, 25% of homes and businesses in NI are scheduled to get ultra-fast broadband access, thanks to their current investment programme.

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