Telecommunications firm BT has finally connected its first superfast broadband customers in ‘The Herbs’ area of Bradley Stoke, almost three years after announcing the upgrade of the Filton telephone exchange to provide fibre services.
The area is the first part of the Bradley Stoke ‘digital ghetto’, consisting of around 4,000 homes in streets not served by Virgin Media’s cable network, to receive the Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) service.
Around 20 properties in and around Coriander Drive are understood to have been connected so far, with Journal readers on the new fibre circuits reporting download speeds of up to 73Mbps, compared to previous values around the 1 to 2 Mbps mark.
According to Ofcom, the average fixed line residential broadband speed in the UK was 14.8Mbps in May 2013.
So far, only one street-side cabinet (at the junction of Baileys Court Road and Ellan Hay Road) has been upgraded and it is believed that the cabinet will only be able to provide the new superfast service to around 100 homes. At the present time, BT has not announced dates for the upgrading any further cabinets connected to the Filton exchange (which serves 0117 numbers).
Subscribers on 01454 numbers will have to wait until at least the middle of next year before they can order superfast broadband, as the Almondsbury telephone exchange is included within the state-aided upgrade programme being managed by South Gloucestershire Council (SGC), which is looking to cover areas missed by BT’s commercial roll-out.
Around 3,500 homes in Bradley Stoke stand to benefit from the SGC programme, although the council has not guaranteed that all of those homes will be able to access superfast (24Mbps+) speeds.
There appears to be good news on that front too, as The Journal understands that work has been taking place over the last fortnight to install a fibre ‘spine’ cable from the Almondsbury exchange along the northern section of Brook Way and along the section of Savages Wood Road between Brook Way and Bradley Stoke Way.
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