BT has revealed that it has chosen Antrim as one of the first towns in the UK for the roll-out of G.fast, an ultrafast broadband service that is ten times faster than typical broadband connections in the UK.
Mairead Meyer, Managing Director of Networks at BT in Northern Ireland, said: “We are delighted to announce that parts of Antrim will be among the first locations in the UK to get ultrafast speeds using G.fast technology.
“We want Northern Ireland to become a world class digital nation and a key part of this is future-proofing our digital infrastructure. We are therefore committed to making G.fast available to homes across Northern Ireland.”
The leading telecoms firm, which employs around 3,000 across the island of Ireland and has joint Irish headquarters in both Belfast and Dublin, will initially make G.fast available to 4,000 premises in Antrim during the course of this year, before rolling out the ultrafast broadband service to 200,000 homes across Northern Ireland by 2020.
Welcoming BT’s announcement, Ann McGregor, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, said: “We warmly welcome this announcement given how important access to fast broadband is to the business community.
“Access to fast and effective broadband is integral to the daily operations of many businesses across Northern Ireland and it clearly impacts the productivity and success of business transactions and interactions with customers. It is certainly a priority that is raised by many of our members.”
The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, John Scott, added: “This announcement is very good news for Antrim businesses. With a strong creative and digital business sector based in Antrim, access to ultrafast broadband will allow local companies to be able to compete in a global arena.”
The G.fast service will provide internet users in Antrim with download speeds of up to 330 Megabits per second – a speed that is more than 10 times the current UK average.