YP Letters: Region to be a leader in broadband with BT investment

From: Tom Keeney, BT's regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber.

British Telelcom boss Tom Keeney is defending his company's policy on broadband.

THE comments by Jonathan Oxley, chairman of the Institute of Directors in the Yorkshire and the Humber, on the roll-out of superfast fibre broadband (The Yorkshire Post December 15) fail to do justice to the huge investment being undertaken to make this exciting technology widely available.

The UK is already in a strong position with more than nine out of 10 homes and businesses able to get superfast broadband and independent data from the regulator Ofcom, the EU and others repeatedly placing the UK number one for broadband and superfast broadband when compared to other large EU countries.

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Nobody is doing more than BT to ensure that the region, and the country as a whole, are leaders in the ‘communications revolution’. The company has made a huge investment in fibre – hundreds of millions of pounds in the Yorkshire and the Humber alone – whilst many others have not.

In Yorkshire and the Humber, nearly two million households and businesses now have access to high-speed fibre broadband as a result of BT’s multi million pound commercial programme and broadband partnerships in which BT is the major private sector partner.

But we recognise there is much more to be done. BT is poised to embark on further major investment in Britain’s digital economy, improving connectivity, creating jobs, enhancing tech literacy and delivering the communications that households and businesses depend on.

We have committed to invest a further £6bn over the next three years in our fixed and mobile networks and are ready to help the delivery of universal access to broadband speeds of at least 10 megabits per second by 2020. As part of this initiative, we aim to make ultrafast speeds available to 12 million UK premises by the end of 2020. And we are going to improve broadband speeds on high streets and business parks.

Our ambitions are not confined to just fixed lines. With our mobile network EE, we will deliver 4g services to more than 95 per cent of UK landmass by the end of 2020, covering more than 99 per cent of premises.

BT is committed to making high-speed broadband as widely available as possible in Yorkshire and the Humber as well as being a major local employer and investor in the region. There is not a businessperson or family in this region who – directly or indirectly – is not affected by BT’s activities as a supplier of essential services, such as superfast broadband, employer, investor or purchaser.