Gigabit connectivity & 5G reaches Fylde Coast

Faster Britain:

A new project by communications specialist ITS has given businesses from Fleetwood to Blackpool access to gigabit capable connectivity.

The Faster Britain full fibre network is rapidly expanding throughout the UK, and focuses on re-using existing infrastructure to minimise disruption and reduce installations times from months to weeks.

ITS was able to use Blackpool’s famous tramlines to carry the cables and is a member of Fibre Blackpool, a co-operative network of service providers sharing resources in order to deliver greater savings to the end user.

Daren Baythorpe, CEO of ITS said: “I am excited that our Blackpool network continues to develop at pace, and as part of our Faster Britain UK network the town is feeling the benefits of full fibre. Being part of our programme ensures that Blackpool exceeds the government’s goals for everyone in the UK to have access to ‘gigabit capable’ connectivity by 2025.

“As the legacy copper-based network becomes obsolete and we move towards its switch off, our mission is to deliver full fibre, gigabit capable connectivity to where it is needed. For the last two years we have been working with the council, local businesses, groups and associations to really dig into what Blackpool needs and where.”

EE Switches on first locations in Lancashire:

EE has switched on 5G for the first time in Lancashire in Blackpool and Chorley, allowing customers in the area to receive the latest mobile network technology.

These two places join more than 30 new towns and cities across the UK that can now access 5G from EE and receive the next generation mobile technology.

The company, part of BT Group, launched the UK’s first 5G service in May 2019 and has now expanded to 112 towns and cities across the UK.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer business, said: “Delivering the best mobile experience for our customers has never been more important. Our 5G rollout continues apace, with our engineers building and upgrading new sites every day to bring the latest mobile technology to even more people in the places they need it. We have 5G coverage in more places than anyone in the UK, and we remain focused on connecting many more areas this year and beyond.”

Liz Needleman, BT Group, North of England, said: “It’s great to see Lancashire benefit from 5G technology on the EE network for the first time. It will allow customers in Blackpool and Chorley to access the new 5G  technology, which will enable a faster, more reliable mobile connection, helping a range of sectors.

“We know that demands for data from consumers and businesses are continuing to increase, so the arrival of 5G in more places in the region will make sure it’s ahead of the game in terms of connectivity and competitiveness.”

Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “This is such an important milestone for Blackpool in realising our digital ambitions. 5G technology will become a key driver of economic growth in the years to come and will enable more innovation in sectors such as manufacturing, construction, health and social care.

“The challenges we have all faced this year have meant digital communications have taken on an even more important role. We’re hopeful that 5G will bring in a new era for our region and the fact EE has switched on 5G in more places here is a huge positive. The arrival of 5G also compliments the recent connection to the North Atlantic Loop: an international subsea fibre network delivering some of the fastest internet speeds in the world from USA to Northern Europe, and a multi-million pound investment in local full fibre upgrades further cements Blackpool as the best connected seaside resort in the UK.”

Network insights from EE show that the top three uses of its 5G network today are video streaming, social networking and web browsing, with YouTube, Netflix, Facebook and Instagram taking the top spots as the most used service providers. 5G download throughput* on EE’s 5G network is twice as fast as 4G, giving the best experience yet, whether watching video, gaming or catching up with friends and family.

Independent testing by RootMetrics found EE’s 5G network to be the no.1 in the UK, offering 5G in more places than any other UK network. According to the tests, EE’s 5G offers the best combination of fast speeds and coverage, with the highest 5G availability in all 16 major UK cities tested. When combined with EE’s range of the latest smartphones from the world’s leading manufacturers, and EE’s award-winning smartphone plans, customers can experience the best of 5G.