Businesses in Wirral to get upgraded broadband

Michael Hunt

Wirral Council has committed to investing £12m to provide faster broadband connections to businesses throughout the borough.

The Next Generation Access broadband aims to improve the competitiveness of existing Wirral businesses in the international market, as well as being a major attraction to companies wishing to locate to the UK or Europe which are dependent on fast data transmission.

Cllr Jean Stapleton, cabinet member for regeneration and planning strategy at Wirral Council, said: "High speed internet is becoming an essential business element and this investment is crucial to the future success of our economy. Next Generation Access will enable our businesses to successfully compete and give Wirral a real unique selling point as a potential investment location."

A much higher speed of connectivity can be supplied through fibre optic networks and Wirral Council is proposing to install a 'fibre ring' which will reach its key investment and employment areas and will use Fibre to the Premises technology so that the fastest service is available to business at all times.

Similar technology is used in places such as Korea, Japan, France, Portugal and Spain, which use copper cables for broadband connection.

The council said that Wirral's fibre ring will be "open access" to service providers such as Virgin, Sky and BT so as to ensure that businesses within the peninsula have access to the fastest broadband at the cheapest price.

Stapleton added: "This investment is a historic moment for Wirral. The installation of the fast fibre optic network will be phased over the next few years but we anticipate that the first businesses will be benefiting from it within 18 months when they will have a real edge over their competitors."

It is predicted that by the end of 2010 that this type of fast broadband connection will be available to just 7.4% of the UK population.

Wirral plans to boost its improved connectivity by linking up with Data Centres throughout the world. By doing this, the council said that it will mean geographical borders no longer apply as Wirral companies will have better coverage across the world.

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