Skip Navigation

BT announce further fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband for Northern Ireland
Monday 21 February 2011 16:03:42 by John Hunt

Northern Ireland are to benefit from increased investment by BT into fibre broadband after the company announced today that it intends to increase the number of lines connected to a fibre broadband cabinet from 54% to 88%. This new swathe of cabinets that have been announced will allow BT's fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology to reach 215,000 households and businesses in the region by March 2012.

"This is a great moment in Northern Ireland's broadband story. High speed fibre broadband is transformational – it changes how we live, how we educate, how our businesses send their products and ideas around the world.

Despite the challenging economic climate in Northern Ireland, broadband investment is a priority for BT. And we are proud of the central role we are playing in giving Northern Ireland a lead in fibre broadband league tables."

Graham Sutherland, (CEO) BT in Northern Ireland

BT say that this will put Northern Ireland ahead of other countries, having more fibre than most major European countries aspire to deploy by 2015. Of course, many of those major countries (the UK included) are known to be lagging in the fibre tables, whilst other sectors of Europe already have keen fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) deployments under way. We hope that BT don't stop at this milestone of 88% of lines connected by FTTC in Northern Ireland, or the country will quickly fall behind again once other areas of Europe start to get significant FTTH live.

For details of availability and when areas should be live, including details down to a per-cabinet basis, visit


Posted by krazykizza over 6 years ago
They already have many exchanges enabled and this just makes me wonder. I see nothing going on in the East Midlands. Northern Island seems to be a class of its own.
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
Northen Ireland is in a class of it's own. VM only has cable in Belfast and the Greater Belfast area. This means it is guaranteed a return on investment in all the areas it rolls out to. It also gets funds from an EU regional development funding for rollout.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
All this FTTC stil won't get NI on the FTTH council league table, 'cos that's FTTH.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
All they are doing is using public funding to patch up the copper, make donuts of cabinets round exchanges leaving more people on the wrong side of the digital divide. Ireland will not get another bite at the cherry, they will get a bit of a speed boost now in a few areas, but will soon end up left behind. It would have been far better to get some other company in to get fibre out to the rurals. Market forces would have done the rest.
Posted by timmay over 6 years ago
Are they going to publish which cabinets will actually be enabled?
Posted by timmay over 6 years ago
D'oh should have read the whole thing. Why can't BT provide that info for the whole country!?
Posted by jtthedevil over 6 years ago
Great, this still leaves me 4 miles from my cabinet, but its better than the current 6 miles! Until they drop the order requirement to 5mb I don't think i'll be accepted anyway. Seems madness, i'm currently on adsl2 getting 0.5mb and i'm sure with the shortening I could get a substantial increse, but still can't order!
Posted by johnct over 6 years ago
themanstan you are wrong about vm only having cable in belfast and the greater belfast area
it also has it in londonderry as well
Posted by otester over 6 years ago

Whoes your provider?
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
@Johct, Yeah, misread the Ofcom spiel on NI Vm is limited mostly to Belfast and G. Belfast... so ther are a spattering of other towns in NI with VM. NI is 3rd for VM penetration out of the 4 countries in the UK.
Posted by jumpmum over 6 years ago
jtthedevil; at 4 miles from a cab you are likely to ever get a decent fixed line speed from DSL, mentions other 'remedies' for the rural areas like subsidised satellite via Avanti Satellite Communications, see last of the Q&As
Posted by johnct over 6 years ago
In N.Ireland VM is the main provider and there is a lot of places that has cable just people find it easier to get the fastest broadband ,tv and phone from one company instead of messing with other comppanys (BT !!)
Posted by dieselglider over 6 years ago
"In N.Ireland VM is the main provider"..What?? Have you any stats to back that up?
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago

VM has done no significant rollouts in NI since 2008, so the map is accurate. And the stats are 2010, so 41% Urban penetration and 0% rural, so well done VM.
Posted by jtthedevil over 6 years ago
@otester Currently with talktalk and registered my interest for their boost. Rumours are this will be 5mb min speed or 15mb min speed.
Posted by jtthedevil over 6 years ago
I know its a long distance for DSL but if my current speed is 0.5mb and the distance from cab is 4 miles, i'd imagine there'd be some sort of increase. I'm not looking 40mb, but even 3 or 4mb would be like a whole new world to me!
Thats why I think its strange BT don't pitch it that way and cash in from hundreds or thousands like me, especially with the current poor uptake.
Posted by jtthedevil over 6 years ago
I posted before about the DETI upgrades locally and the majority of the exchanges upgraded were quite close to exchanges. It was pitched as an upgrade to the network for business customers. From my view, they were asking people to upgrade who for the most part could probably get speeds in excess of 8mb on adsl2. Thats why I think there's more money to be made from rural places than urban as they would see more value in it. (Lights touch paper and stands back)
Posted by dieselglider over 6 years ago
Yes it was originally pitched at business sector, even the Fibre fasterbroadbandni website will only accept business phone numbers. That's why I was surprised my small village, with its 5 business's and a school (and typical 1 to 4Mbps download speeds)was enabled. But this latest news is definitely aimed at both business and domestic.
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
"Thats why I think there's more money to be made from rural places than urban as they would see more value in it."

I agree with that 100%, people with less than 4-8Mbps+ speeds are more likely to upgrade than someone with 8-12Mbps+, so BT should focus on the areas with less speed :)

jtthedevil, shame BT won't build a cab closer to your home :P
Posted by otester over 6 years ago

Is your exchange not CPW/TT LLU?

I'm 4km from my exchange (TT LLU) and I get 5.5Mbps download and 0.8Mbps upload (Xilo resell it).

Sounds like you might be on a 20CN connection.
Posted by darren_mccoy over 6 years ago
All the cabinets in Moira were upgraded six months ago, I don't know if i'll ever get more than one meg. I'm about 1Km away from the exchange but my line takes 5.5Km as it snakes across the countryside. I would happily pay £1000 to get connected to 40 Mb broadband or even dig a trench to the nearest cabinet.
Posted by jtthedevil over 6 years ago
Yeah i'm currently on the LLU. I know talktalk get a lot of stick, but they were fantastic compared to sky before them. Sky flatly refused to even try me on ADSL2 as I couldn't get a minimum of 8mb and that ADSL2 would make my line slower and more unstable. Before I signed up, talktalk agreed to put me onto it and through the talktalk members webite, tweaked my line to get me an extra 0.2mb from what I had before. Not much, but nearly doubled my existing speed.
Posted by jtthedevil over 6 years ago
Know how you feel mate. Think my only hope is set far in the future. The line from the cabinet to my house is mostly overhead cables and i'm hoping it'll be cheaper to do FTTH if they ever decide to go that far.
I'll even come down and help them peg it up!
Posted by otester over 6 years ago

6.5km line length?


Posted by jtthedevil over 6 years ago
N Ireland, hence my frustration! Lol
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
lol at nearly 90% vs under 3% in east midlands.
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.