broadband End User

BT superfast broadband supremo Bill Murphy talks about progress to date in Lincolnshire and offers a glimpse into the future


It’s hard to believe more than two years has passed since the very first digital conference organised by onlincolnshire.

Back then, in 2013, I told a packed conference room in Lincoln that the most important aim was to ensure as many people as possible can benefit from fibre broadband.

There is no doubt we’re well on the way to achieving that, but let’s be clear, the story is far from over. Plenty more work in towns and villages across the county is already underway or being planned for the future.

It’s worth pausing for a second to take in the remarkable achievements that BT’s partnership with Lincolnshire County Council has already delivered.

Since that event back in March 2013, fibre broadband has been made available to more than 190,000 homes and businesses across Lincolnshire, thanks to Onlincolnshire and BT’s commercial rollout. Incredible, when you think that’s more than 6,000 properties every month able to sign up to fibre broadband for the first time.

We are transforming lives, changing the way Lincolnshire as a county does business, and opening up a whole world of possibility for our younger generations.

But we know there’s more to do. Some of our smaller communities are still waiting. Often, they’re the ones it’s proving hardest to connect to the network.

We continue to work closely with the council to explore the best way of tackling the most hard-to-reach areas. And just recently, BT itself announced a commitment to ‘never say no’ to communities outside of any current rollout plans and to work with them to find a fibre solution.

BT is more determined than ever. We’re making huge advances in the development of new technology. Just last month, 2,000 homes and businesses taking part in a real-life trial in Cambridgeshire became the first in the UK to experience a new type of ultrafast broadband.

G.Fast, pioneered by BT, is already delivering ultrafast broadband speeds of up to 330 megabits per second (Mbps), more than ten times the UK average, but is capable of going even further, up to 500 Mbps.

This trial is being delivered by Openreach, BT’s local network business, on behalf of and in collaboration with UK communications providers – eight of which have chosen to take part in this early research.

If the trials, also taking place in parts of Newcastle and Swansea, are successful, and assuming UK regulation continues to encourage investment, Openreach aims to start deploying G.Fast in 2016/17. This exciting technology is without doubt the key to making ultrafast speeds more widely available.

But how does it work?

G.Fast is a type of transmission system that uses a wider frequency band to deliver high broadband speeds over short-to-medium copper lines.

BT has pioneered research into G.Fast since 2007 and we believe speeds of up to 330Mbps will be available to millions of homes by 2020, and 500Mbps available to most of the UK within just a decade.

It’s a six to nine month trial, allowing BT, Openreach and the eight communications providers taking part to assess the technical performance of the technology across a large footprint.

Different methods of deployment are being used to provide a valuable insight into how the technology can be used on a day-to-day basis, and how usage may grow over time.

The speeds on offer will allow people to stream live ultra-high-definition 4K video content to multiple devices at once, all whilst simultaneously browsing the web, uploading videos and photos, or playing online games.

So the future’s exciting. And here at BT, we’re delighted to be leading the way in transforming the UK broadband landscape from superfast to ultrafast.

It’s going to be some journey.

Bill Murphy is Managing Director of next-generation access at BT and is responsible for their nationwide superfast broadband roll-out.

Other posts in Lincolnshire broadband week:

Philip Little of Bluecube Move to the cloud accelerated by superfast broadband

Intro to day 4 by Tref

Broadband for all by Tref

Could we have a B4RN in Lincolnshire (B4RL)

Gigaclear Ultrafast broadband in Lincolnshire by CEO Matthew Hare

BT fibrebroadband Managing Director Bill Murphy discusses superfast broadband progress in Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire broadband programme update by Steve Brookes