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Sunderland to get 'wall-to-wall' superfast broadband

The northern city will be the first in Britain to get complete fibre coverage, Sunderland City Council claims.

Fibre

Sunderland will be the first city in Britain to get "wall-to-wall" superfast broadband coverage, the city's council has claimed.

Nine-tenths of the city will have access to fibre by 2012 thanks to a BT investment in Sunderland.

When added to other ISPs' presence in Sunderland and plans for further superfast rollouts, it won't be long until the whole area can receive speeds of up to at least 40Mbps, the council said.

Both fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premise (FTTP) will be set up in Sunderland. Both kinds of connectivity are due to have speeds increased in the next year.

The City Council recognises that superfast city-wide broadband infrastructure is a vital ingredient for economic growth in the city.

"Being able to announce that Sunderland will be the first city in Britain to offer wall-to-wall access to superfast broadband is the result of our vision, ambition and commitment," said Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council.

"The City Council recognises that superfast city-wide broadband infrastructure is a vital ingredient for economic growth in the city."

The announcement came as BT claimed Britain was on the way to securing the best broadband in Europe. Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt claimed the UK would be home to the quickest broadband in the continent by 2015.

"We will be top of the major league, certainly if not by 2015 then by very soon after," said Sean Williams, the group director of strategy policy and portfolio for BT, according to the Daily Telegraph.

"Investment we make now is not going to be wasted."

However, industry in-fighting over pricing of BT's wholesale fibre product could hamper rollout of superfast speeds. Even when BT dropped prices of its fibre infrastructure for other ISPs to buy into, Virgin said it was not entirely happy with the changes.

Culture secretary Hunt recently stepped in, calling for an end to the bickering over fibre pricing. He indicated Ofcom may have to intervene if the industry fails to iron out the issues.

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