LETTER: Quotes from an ‘ill-judged’ report

Your article “Wealden ‘is in UK’s worst 20 per cent for broadband” (Sussex Express, February 1) fails to recognise the extent and pace of the roll-out of superfast fibre broadband across the South East and quotes from a report, which is misleading and ill-judged.

More than 3.5 million households and businesses in the South East region now have access to fibre broadband and that figure is growing by thousands weekly.

The latest superfast broadband coverage figures from an independent website, thinkbroadband, demonstrate the progress achieved since the research quoted in your article.

For example, they show that more than 84 per cent of premises in Wealden’s constituency are now able to get superfast speeds of +24Mbps.

BT is the only company that has spent billions of pounds delivering broadband to both urban and rural communities, having invested £20 billion in our networks over the past decade.

The roll-out of this exciting technology across the South East takes hundreds of thousands of engineering man hours and includes the installation of thousands of fibre broadband cabinets and many thousands of miles of fibre optic cabling. It’s a huge engineering task, but the Government itself has confirmed that the superfast broadband programme across the UK is “on track and under budget”.

Independent data from the regulator Ofcom, the EU and others repeatedly place the UK number one for broadband and superfast broadband when compared to other large EU countries. Ninety per cent of UK premises can already get fibre broadband and that will soon climb to 95 per cent and above. More than 500 service providers compete over the Openreach network and the UK is seen globally as one of the most competitive telecoms markets in the world. Ultimately, the UK would get far less investment if Openreach was a smaller, weaker independent company not part of BT.

Stacey King

BT regional partnership director, South East