St Austell family are first in Cornwall to enjoy new high-speed G.fast technology

Heidi Moore became the first customer in Cornwall to benefit from a major expansion of ultrafast broadband by Openreach, the business responsible for Britain’s largest phone and broadband network.

Heidi Moore became the first customer in Cornwall to benefit from a major expansion of ultrafast broadband by Openreach, the business responsible for Britain’s largest phone and broadband network.

Heidi who lives in Gover Road, St Austell, is using the latest ultrafast technology, known as [1]G.fast, a service capable of delivering broadband download speeds of up to 330Mbps* – around 10 times the UK national average.

Hers is one of tens of thousands of homes and businesses across the country able to get some of the fastest broadband speeds in the UK – after Openreach began switching on pilot areas for the technology around the country earlier this year. Openreach plans a national rollout of ultrafast broadband to 12 million homes and businesses by 2020 and 10 million will be upgraded using this cutting edge technology.

Heidi signed up to be part of the St Austell trial via her service provider, BT Consumer.

Heidi suffers from ME, which means she is often housebound, so staying in touch with friends and family as well as being able to use services such as online shopping are really important to her.

“I’ve got ME, which has knocked the stuffing out of me and knocked me off my feet a bit. You can only play each day as it comes. I use Facebook to stay in touch with friends and family and obviously online shopping is really important as sometimes I can’t get out and about.”

Heidi now enjoys download speeds of more than 320 Megabits per second. When her three grown-up foster sons visit she really notices the difference ultrafast has made.

She said: “Before, whenever all four of us were in the house together, I could be doing my shopping online, someone might be on WhatsApp, someone else was on Facebook or You-Tube, Instagram, you name it – they could be on anything, so sometimes we’d notice a slight slowing. Now we are able to run more devices without losing any speed.

“Even on catch-up TV, if I download a programme, if it was an hour programme - before it used to take a minute or two, now I find - 40 seconds - boomf, done!”

Kim Mears, Openreach managing director for infrastructure delivery, said: “It’s great to see the first customers being switched on and already reaping the benefits. The UK is ahead of its major European neighbours when it comes to superfast broadband, but technology never stands still – that’s why we’re building on our existing fibre network and leading the way in deploying ultrafast speeds.

“We need to stay ahead in order to meet the evolving needs of our customers. Gfast will allow us to do that by building on the investment we have made in fibre to date. It will transform the UK broadband landscape from superfast to ultrafast, and it will reach the largest number of people in the quickest possible time.”

Pete Oliver, managing director of BT Consumer, said: “G.fast will help our customers to do everything they want to online with plenty of capacity for their future needs.

“Whether it’s streaming movies on BT TV or watching BT Sport in ultra HD, faster broadband is essential for our customers’ lives.”

G.fast technology changes the way today’s broadband is transmitted, delivering ultrafast speeds that have previously required fibre to be run all the way to the premises (FTTP). This is significant as it will enable Openreach to make ultrafast fibre available to a much larger number of homes and businesses, and in a shorter timeframe, than if it had focused on FTTP alone.

More than 3,000 households and businesses in and around the town can benefit from the new ultrafast service with the G.fast technology being deployed in parts of the wards of St Austell Bay, Bethel, Gover, Poltair, Mount Charles, St Mewan and Penwithick and Boscoppa.

It builds on the success of the Superfast Cornwall partnership’s rollout of fibre broadband, which has already made fibre broadband available to about 238,000 Cornish households and businesses.

The new network is available on an open wholesale basis to all internet service providers, meaning that households and businesses will benefit from a choice of services, competitive pricing and products.

People wanting to try the new service should contact their internet service provider to see if they’re offering a service, and to find out more about availability and pricing. They can find out more about which providers offer this service by visiting www.openreach.co.uk/buyultrafast.


Notes to editors

For further information

To find out more about G.fast go to www.openreach.co.uk/gfast

*Download speed for a two hour HD film at 300Mbps; 90 seconds

To download a forty five minute HD TV show; 16 seconds

To download a nine hour audio book: 3 seconds