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BT announces that Didcot will get new high-speed Internet links
11:08am Thursday 7th January 2010 in Didcot
HOMES and businesses in and around Didcot are to get new high-speed Internet connections.
BT has announced the town’s telephone exchange will be one of 20 in south east England to be fitted with super-fast, fibre-based broadband technology by the end of the summer. The exchange, which is behind the Orchard Centre, serves 11,000 properties in the area.
Rival Internet service providers will be able to access the new fibre-optic connections, and thousands of new houses earmarked for Didcot could be fitted with high-speed broadband as they are built.
Didcot’s exchange is the only one in Oxfordshire to benefit from BT’s latest £1.5bn investment in super-fast broadband. The company says that four million properties in the UK will have high-speed connections by the end of year.
BT spokesman Steve Robertson said: “The benefits offered by this technology could play a vital role in helping to lift the UK out of recession and allowing companies and invidividuals to thrive in a challenging economic climate.”
Didcot’s Conservative MP Ed Vaizey said: “It will be vital for local businesses and residents, and put us ahead of the game.
“I fought hard for broadband a few years ago and I will ensure that the rest of my constituency benefits from superfast broadband as soon as possible.”
The most likely technology to be installed will see fibre-optic cables linking the exchange to outdoor street cabinets, allowing connection speeds of up to 40 megabits per second. In the future, download speeds could reach 60mb/s.
BT said ‘a small minority’ of premises served by the exchange would not be able to be served by super-fast broadband.
South Oxfordshire District Council has previously identified dozens of so-called ‘notspots’ in rural areas where households more than 7km from telephone exchanges, or with poor quality wiring, were unable to access broadband. In September, councillor John Cotton said the cost of installing fibre-optic connections across the district would be £80m, and SODC was lobbying BT to upgrade local broadband provision.