100 Megabit broadband coming to Manchester this year

100 Megabit broadband coming to Manchester this year

corridor_manchesterYou want fast broadband? Really fast broadband? This year? You’d better move to Oxford Road in Manchester then.

A pilot scheme to bring 100 Megabit connection speeds to the Oxford Road Corridor has been announced today. The area covered includes two universities, several hospitals and countless businesses.

Under the scheme, the fibre-optic cable connections will be ‘open access’, allowing different service providers to lease space on the network to provide internet access, TV, telephone and other data services. Plans are afoot to extend the scheme to other areas of Manchester using the city’s network of tram lines as a route for the cable.

The project’s contractor, Geo, expects to start the first phase of deploying the network to 200 addresses this spring. Connections directly to 1500 homes and businesses will be phased over the next 12 months.

Damien Bourke, policy & partnership manager for NWDA (the North West Regional Development Agency), said: “This is the first step on a journey to help make Manchester an increasingly competitive international city – a city in which businesses can find new and sustainable markets which in turn will help drive the regional economy”.

As we have previously reported, BT is planning to have a 100 Megabit network available to 40% of the UK by 2012.

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