BT finishes Northern Ireland fibre broadband project

2 Aug 2011

Telecoms giant BT has completed work on Northern Ireland’s multimillion-pound fibre-optic broadband scheme on schedule and on budget, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) has announced.

Over the past 18 months, BT invested nearly stg£30m in the Next Generation Broadband Project and DETI and the European Regional Development Fund’s Competitiveness Programme injected stg£16.5m into the project.

Under the contract, BT’s job was to deploy fibre broadband deeper into Northern Ireland’s towns, villages and rural areas, with 166 phone exchanges requiring an upgrade and 1,265 new access points that had to be rolled out.

Now, 85pc of businesses across the country should have a faster internet connection.

Businesses in Northern Ireland’s rural areas covered by the Next Generation Broadband Project can now access minimum speeds of 2Mbps, while those in urban areas can access 10Mbps.

By March 2010, nine in 10 phone lines will be hooked up to a fibre-enabled street cabinet, said Graham Sutherland, chief executive of BT Northern Ireland.

Graham Sutherland will be part of the panel discussion and Q&A with Lord David Puttnam at the Digital Ireland Forum – Friday, 30 September, 2011