Feeds

NI heralds 100% broadband coverage

Alright then, 98.5%

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The final nine telephone exchanges in Northern Ireland have now been enabled with ADSL technology giving broadband availability to 98.5 per cent of the region. The announcement was made by BT Northern Ireland in association with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) and the Building Sustainable Prosperity programme.

A total of 191 exchanges have been unbundled in the area since local loop unbundling began in the UK. In doing so, Northern Ireland has become the first UK region outside of London to have every one of its exchanges enabled for broadband.

A contract to provide 100 per cent broadband coverage in Northern Ireland, which was to be funded under the EU Building Sustainable Prosperity programme, was awarded to BT at the end of March 2004. Prior to winning that contract, BT had enabled between 55 and 60 per cent of exchanges in Northern Ireland.

Following the enablement of BT's exchanges, over 200 internet service providers and other companies will be able to use the upgraded infrastructure to deliver broadband services to customers in Northern Ireland.

Demand for broadband in Northern Ireland has increased dramatically as exchanges have gone live. In just 12 months, the region has moved from having one of the lowest levels of broadband uptake in the UK to becoming the fastest growing area. The latest industry figures show 150,000 broadband users and demand is still growing.

"Northern Ireland now has a first-class telecommunications infrastructure, allowing our businesses to compete in the global marketplace and enabling all citizens to make full use of the possibilities of the internet," said Enterprise Minister, Barry Gardiner MP. "Our goal now is to become the first region in Europe with 100 per cent broadband access. Therefore, over coming months, BT will focus on providing wireless broadband infrastructure to the remaining 1.5 percent of the population that cannot access broadband via the existing BT exchanges."

The broadband situation in Northern Ireland contrasts sharply with that of the Republic where only a handful of exchanges have been enabled. "From a geographical point of view, broadband availability in Northern Ireland is now above that of Spain, France and Germany," Bill Murphy, managing director of BT Regions and CEO of Esat BT, told ElectricNews.Net. "I've been saying for a long time that there are ways of building public/private partnerships in order to push broadband coverage. What has been done in the North can also be achieved in the Republic but in order for that to happen there needs to be more government intervention."

Despite a rise in the number of broadband subscribers in the Republic in recent years following the launch of cheaper high-speed internet access services, the country still lags behind most of Europe in terms of penetration. In a Forfas report released last year, Ireland ranked an embarrassing 18 out of 21, surpassing only Hungary, the Czech Republic and Greece in terms of broadband usage. At present, fewer than 0.2 per cent of Eircom's 1.6m phone lines have been unbundled and some customers living within enabled exchange areas have been told that lines are not of sufficient quality to allow ADSL.

© ENN

Related stories

BT wins NI blanket broadband deal
Northern Ireland offers broadband funds
Northern Ireland aims for 100pc broadband

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.