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Bristol engineers play leading role in uk roll-out of high speed fibre broadband
Aug 09, 2012 (M2 PRESSWIRE via COMTEX) --
A team of engineers in Bristol is at the forefront of the high speed fibre broadband revolution that is sweeping the UK.
The 140-strong team, based at BT's central telephone exchange complex in Marsh Street, is responsible for maintaining and monitoring the UK's rapidly growing fibre network. BT's network is already available to more than 11 million UK premises and is expected to have reached around two thirds of homes and businesses by the end of 2014.
The 24/7 Bristol operation - run by Openreach, BT's local network business - has the responsibility of switching on every one of the thousands of new green roadside cabinets being used to deliver fibre broadband to communities right across the UK. Around 4,000 cabinets are already live in Bristol and the surrounding area.
And the team is playing a key role in communications services for London 2012 across the UK. It manages 1,000 high speed fibre Ethernet circuits capable of delivering speeds up to 10 Gigabits per second for 94 competition and non-competition venues for London 2012 in the UK.
The Marsh Street centre even boasts a working model of BT's new fibre network -- showing how it operates all the way from a living room to the central hub of a telephone exchange via a pole and the new roadside cabinets..
Chris Hughes, general manager of the Openreach Access Operations Centre in Bristol, said: "This is cutting edge technology. It's the future. We are right at the leading edge here in Bristol and I can't think of any other job I would rather be doing.
"We are switching on well over 200 new cabinets a week in communities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and we have a highly motivated team of engineers in this city who fully appreciate the significance of the work they are doing."
Chris was born in Bristol and lived in Nailsea for most of his working life. He has worked for BT for over 30 years and now has teams based throughout the UK. Recognised by industry as an Ethernet expert Chris leapt at the opportunity to create the Openreach high speed fibre broadband centre in Bristol.
The operation is part of BT's GBP2.5 billion roll-out of fibre broadband around the UK - one of the fastest of its kind anywhere in the world - which is already available to more than 750,000 homes and businesses in the South West, including nearly 160,000 in Bristol and the surrounding area.
"We are well ahead of the game and this operation here in Bristol has put us on the worldwide map. We have already had visitors from the United States, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Botswana and Nigeria to examine the way we are delivering this technology. We also have a constant stream of visitors from the 60-plus companies who provide fibre broadband services over our network, with whom we do business day to day.
Openreach is making fibre broadband available to around two-thirds of UK homes and businesses by the end of 2014
1 using a mix of fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP) technologies.
Both offer speeds many times faster than those currently available to most UK homes and businesses. FTTC, where fibre is delivered to the street cabinet, offers download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps
2 . FTTP, where fibre runs all the way to homes and businesses, offers download speeds of 110Mbps and 330Mbps
By spring 2013 BT aims to make speeds of 330Mbps
2 commercially available in any area where fibre broadband has been deployed
BT is currently bidding for BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK) funds which could extend the availability of fibre broadband to more than 90 per cent of UK homes and businesses in the next four to five years with technologies being developed to raise speeds in the remaining 10 per cent.
Notes to editors
1 BT's deployment plans are subject to an acceptable environment for investment.
2 These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
3 Openreach will levy an installation charge for FTTP on demand. It will be up to service providers to then decide whether they pass that onto businesses or consumers wishing to take advantage of the product.
Due to the current network topography, and the economics of deployment, it is likely that some premises within the selected exchange areas will not initially be able to access fibre-based broadband. Openreach is actively looking at alternative solutions for these locations.
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UPDATED 4:57 PM EST - May 24, 2013
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