JT and Digital Jersey are working together to get a group of digital businesses in St Helier connected to the new fibre broadband network before the end of 2014. While the fibre network is scheduled to be installed generally in town in 2016, Digital Jersey has identified an initial group of businesses in the digital sector that would benefit from earlier connection to the new fibre network. JT will now be working on completing this initial group of installations before the end of this year.
“We are fully aware of how important the digital sector is to Jersey’s future economic growth and diversification, and having a fibre network connecting all broadband customers will be essential in driving that. Digital Jersey’s feedback has been really helpful, and we are pleased to be able to get these businesses connected up to two years ahead of schedule”, said Dave Newbold, Gigabit Director for JT. “They have identified a group of businesses that would benefit from high-speed, high-capacity fibre broadband, and since they are all in a similar area, we plan to get this first group connected this year”.
Digital Jersey would like to hear from any other businesses that would like to be connected to the fibre network earlier than currently planned (the installation schedule can be checked on JT’s website: http://www.gigabitjersey.com/about-gigabit/where-and-when.aspx).
“We are pleased that JT have listened to industry feedback about the need for fibre business connectivity and are now looking at ways to prioritise this”, said Paul Masterton, Chairman of Digital Jersey. “Access to greater bandwidth is essential for the digital sector, giving the ability to improve productivity and to support the development of innovative services, including greater use of new cloud technology. I would urge digital businesses who feel they would benefit from fibre connectivity to get in touch with us so that we can provide feedback to JT, by contacting us on firstname.lastname@example.org”.
Jersey’s fibre broadband network is on track for completion as planned before the end of 2016. So far, 7,600 customers have been connected, and 879,000 metres of cabling have been laid. The project has provided jobs for 114 locally qualified people.
Building the new fibre-optic network is a major civil engineering project, costing £41m and taking five years to complete. It is an entire replacement of the previous telecoms network, which uses copper cabling, and for which installation originally began in the 1920’s. Copper cables are limited in the broadband speeds they can provide, and will not be able to cope with the predicted growth in demand for internet-based services. The new network means that people in Jersey will be able to keep up.
Dave Newbold added: “Building a fibre broadband network for all customers in Jersey is a once-in-a-generation project, and will take five years, completing as planned in 2016. We began in 2012 with the areas of the island that needed the most improvement in broadband speeds; customers in St Helier can typically already get up to 20Mb/s. Also, since this project involves laying cables under roads, and then connecting them to every single broadband customer in Jersey, it is complex; so we needed to refine our process before moving into town, where the chance of causing undue disruption was at highest”.