A new multimillion pound public/private partnership project launched in South Yorkshire today could have widespread implications for the future of broadband connectivity across the UK.
Technology firm Thales and public/private partnership Digital Region launched the Go-Live project with the aim of providing homes and businesses in the entire area with broadband speeds of 25Mbit/s and above.
Around 97 per cent of homes and businesses in the region will be able to connect to the network, representing 40,000 companies and 1.2 million people, according to Thales.
The project is open to internet service providers, which means that the first residents and business could be online by 2010.
Companies will benefit from the new network as staff will be able to use technologies like high-definition TV and VoIP as well as business tools such as flexible working, videoconferencing and cloud computing, said Thales.
The network runs on VDSL2 carried over fibre-to-the-cabinet, and includes quality of service controls to support real-time applications and business services.
"This is an exciting project for the UK as it will help to define a lot of what can happen in the future for broadband deployment," said Phil Hodge, director of ICT and next-generation broadband at Thales.
"It's a great opportunity to find out the business need for superfast broadband across large regions, irrespective of demographics, and the impact it can have for businesses.
"We have used our own fibres to deliver the technology, rather than existing BT copper cables, so we can guarantee that the speeds we are quoting will be those that users receive."
Hodge added that by reaching the so-called 'final third' of users, such as the elderly or people who previously had no access to broadband, the project will help to prove the business case for rolling out broadband across entire regions.
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