BT is to roll out fibre-based broadband in the Northern Ireland city of Derry, the telecoms giant has announced.
The company is to be a commercial partner "to support Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013", and will have the fibre rolled out by the autumn of this year in preparation for that event, BT said. Its statement on Thursday referred to a "five-year, multi-million-pound partnership" with the city, but was unspecific about the amount it will invest in the super-fast broadband deployment itself. A report in the Belfast Telegraph has the figure at £3m.
According to BT, fibre will be deployed to all of Derry's street cabinets, providing end-user download speeds of up to 40Mbps and upload speeds of up to 10Mbps. 21,000 households and 6,000 businesses should receive a connectivity boost as a result.
The investment is separate to BT's deal with Northern Ireland's Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment (DETI), announced at the end of 2009, to bring all of urban Northern Ireland up to a 10Mbps minimum. However, a BT spokesperson told ZDNet UK on Monday that the new investment will form part of the company's wider £2.5bn commitment to bring fibre-based broadband to two-thirds of the UK.
"In addition to upgrading the telecommunications infrastructure, BT will work closely with the City of Culture team to help address the digital divide and help provide the residents of Derry~Londonderry with the tools and skills to leverage the plans to make the region a digital hub," BT's statement read.