Fibre broadband boost for Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland business is set for a revenues boost of £750million, as firms take advantage of fibre optic.

Fibre broadband is set to bring enormous benefits for Northern Ireland business.

According to a BT business impact study, firms in Northern Ireland could make an extra £750million within the next five years, as well as saving around £45million on running costs, by exploiting fibre optic broadband.

Colm O'Neill, chief executive of BT Northern Ireland, said: "The aim in conducting the research was to evaluate the potential available across the various sectors through the take-up of fibre broadband."

"We are in the enviable position in Northern Ireland of having available to us a world-class fibre network that is ahead of the UK and Europe in terms of availability."

Northern Ireland is one of the UK's strongest areas in terms of fibre optic broadband coverage, with close to 100% of premises able to access a superfast connection.

However, despite the widespread availability of fibre broadband, Northern Ireland actually lags behind in terms of technology in the home.

According to Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, 69% of households in Northern Ireland currently have a broadband connection, compared to a UK average of 76%.

In addition, Northern Ireland's over-55s population is significantly less likely to have broadband at home than in the rest of the UK. Only 44% of people aged 55 or over have broadband access in Northern Ireland, compared to 59% for the UK as a whole.

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