Broadband investment set to benefit South West microtechnology firms


Simon Bond

Category: Electronics News, Silicon South West

Microtechnology firms in the South West of England look likely to be among those set to benefit from the introduction of quicker internet speeds.

That is after Openreach, a subsidiary of BT, revealed that 163 exchanges will be upgraded across the UK in the coming months, helping to provide fibre broadband to new areas.

The move is a part of a wider £2.5 billion commercial rollout of technology which has already seen 11 million premises benefit.

And this is set to create a better business platform in the future, allowing companies that are reliant on the web to get the access they require to strong internet speeds.

Mike Galvin, Openreach's managing director of network investment, explained that it represents "great news" for the 163 communities across the UK, where huge benefits will follow from creating jobs and boosting economies.

"Our roll-out of fibre continues apace, with more than 11 million homes currently having access to the many benefits this technology can deliver. Today's (September 25th) announcement shows that we are well into our journey to bring fibre to two-thirds of the UK by the end of 2014," he said.

"We have now announced the bulk of the exchanges we will be deploying fibre to under our own steam but we are keen to go even further with the help of BDUK funding."

He added that the company will "continue to engage with local government and communities to try and give as many people as possible access to the benefits of fibre broadband".

It comes after research from investment company Ascendant found that the UK microtechnology industry is continuing to grow, with £600 million pumped into firms in the first six months of the year.

This, reports Electronics Weekly, is compared to £786 million of investment made in the whole of 2011, with the South West region one of the areas to benefit most because of the number of firms it has researching and developing in the sector.