Edinburgh is one of eight UK cities to be the first to benefit from an “ultrafast” broadband network which will see households able to get speeds of up to one gigabyte per second.
The new Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) programme is set to be rolled out across the city in the first phase of a programme which will reach up to three million homes and businesses across the UK by the end of 2020, offering speeds 24 times faster than the average broadband connection – fast enough to stream 200 HD Netflix movies simultaneously.
Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester are also among the cities where work will start later this year, under new proposals to extend the rollout by 50 per cent. Broadband infrastructure provider Openreach said 40 UK towns, cities and boroughs will eventually be connected with FTTP networks, which provide a fibre optic connection the entire way from the telephone exchange to a home or business. Traditional fibre broadband connects to an on-street cabinet with a fibre connection, then to individual premises with a copper cable, making it more difficult to obtain top speeds.
However, Openreach warned the pace and extent of the investment would depend on the speed with which the “conditions to enable an acceptable return on the investment are secured”, adding that support is needed from communication providers, central and local government and regulator Ofcom.
Gavin Barrie, convener of the housing and economy committee at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “I’m delighted that Edinburgh has been selected as one of the first UK cities to benefit from Openreach’s ‘Fibre First’ programme.
“Beyond the economic benefits, ultrafast broadband also has the potential to transform lives and support a better, fairer and more inclusive society.
“This technology will enable us to deliver more effective public services online, and support this region’s residents to access resources and services online that can improve their health, skills and general wellbeing.”
Andrew Hepburn, Openreach’s director of infrastructure delivery in Scotland, said: “For our vibrant business community, which is known for its innovation, it will mean more firms benefiting from the huge opportunities offered by this exciting technology to attract new customers, provide new services and work more efficiently. Local households, too, will find ultrafast broadband a major step forward.”
Openreach has estimated that the cost of building FTTP in towns and cities over the next three years to be around £300 to £400 per premises passed.