Derry City first in UK, Ireland to upgrade to fibre broadband

18 Oct 2011

All street cabinets serving customers in Derry City have been upgraded with fibre broadband, making it the first city in the UK and Ireland to reach this milestone.

This technology means that almost 39,000 consumers and businesses now have widespread access to high-speed, fibre-based broadband across the city, with download speeds of up to 40Mbps. This will increase to up to 80Mbps by next year.

However, a small number of premises will not currently be able to get these fibre services due to reasons such as distance from a street cabinet. Alternative fast broadband variants will be available for affected customers.

BT announced this rollout back in January as part of its five-year multi-million pound partnership with the Derry-Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013. The project aimed to make the city more creative and digitally connected.

“The City of Culture designation is a tremendous catalyst for the rejuvenation and regeneration of the city, and we’ve already had a number of key infrastructural developments on the back of this accolade,” said Martin Bradley, chairperson of the Culture Company 2013.

“Given the economic climate we have now, it is crucially important that businesses here have every advantage and aid they can get, and having the high-speed broadband connectivity that BT has given us will be a fantastic boost to the local economy,” he said.

The technology was delivered on an open basis to allow other broadband service providers to access the network, maintaining competition in the market.

It builds on BT’s investment in the Next Generation Broadband Project, delivered on behalf of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

“The delivery of this ambitious project within a tight timescale involved vision, collaboration and commitment from stakeholders who shared a common objective to realise Derry’s aspiration to be a digital champion,” said Colm O’Neill, CEO of BT in Northern Ireland. 

“This next-generation broadband network will provide a future-proof foundation to support Derry’s economic, social and cultural aims, and we are proud to be at the heart of many of the pioneering projects this exciting city has planned for this generation and the next.”