Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Superfast Leicestershire Programme?

Superfast Leicestershire is a multi-million-pound project led by the County Council, in partnership with British Telecommunications (BT), the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and district councils. The aim of the project is to bring superfast broadband access to areas not served by commercial operators.

Phase 1 delivery ran from April 2014 to March 2016. Phase 2 delivery ran from April 2016 – Sept 2019. At the completion of Phase 2 of the programme, more than 72,000 properties have gained access to superfast broadband, including approx. 11,000 businesses.

As a direct result of the Programme’s intervention, coverage of Superfast Broadband across Leicestershire has increased from 81% to 96%, above the UK average.

In the west of the County, Phase 3 will see almost 2,500 properties benefit and receive future proofed Gigabit (1,000Mbps) capable full fibre connections over the next two years in the first stages of deployment, completing at the end of 2021.

What is superfast broadband?

Superfast broadband is defined as a download speed of 24 Mbps or more which is delivered through a fibre-optic network. The 24Mbps threshold was set out by the government for this programme UK wide. The current average broadband speed in the UK is 54Mbps (source: www.ofcom.org.uk).

What is fibre broadband?

Fibre broadband is the new generation of broadband – it’s much faster, more reliable and it uses a different technology. Whilst most traditional broadband is delivered via copper telephone lines; fibre broadband commonly uses fibre optic cable as part of the link between the customer and the exchange.

Fibre broadband can be delivered in two ways: fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP).

The exact speed you get depends on a number of factors like length of your copper line from the telephone exchange or green roadside cabinet, the copper line quality and the equipment and internal wiring within your premises. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) package you select may also affect the speed available. Superfast Leicestershire will be working to ensure that everyone is able to access as fast a speed as possible given their geographical location.

What are Mbps?

Mbps stand for Megabits per second – it’s the way that internet speeds are measured. One bit means one piece of basic information and one megabit is a million bits of information.

What is Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC)?

FTTC uses fibre-optic cables throughout the network right up to the street cabinet. It then uses existing copper wires to connect the cabinet to homes and businesses. FTTC provides download speeds up to 80mbps and upload speeds up to 20mbps, which are then offered as different service packages by retail Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Most of the fibre broadband in Leicestershire will be of this type.

Anyone in an FTTC-enabled area will be able to upgrade to FTTP ‘on demand’ in the future. ‘Fibre on Demand’ (FoD) allows any end-user to have a full fibre connection installed to their home or business premise. This is outside the scope of the project and therefore the business or individual will have to pay charges for the associated network build and an installation charge – all based on distance from Openreach’s nearest network nodes. FoD will allow access to speeds to up 330mbps download and 30mbps upload. A limited number of suppliers are offering this service.

What is Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)?

FTTP means fibre-optic cables run from the exchange right to the door of each house or business through a 100% fibre connection all the way from the telephone exchange to the end premise.

Full-fibre connections are capable of download and upload speeds over 1 Gbps. It is currently the fastest and most reliable broadband technology.

Not all ISPs supply full fibre services at present. Here is a list of providers (https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/fttp-providers) that currently provide fibre services.

When can I get fibre broadband?

Some areas can already receive superfast broadband delivered commercially by BT or Virgin Media.

Fibre broadband is being rolled out across Leicestershire between early 2014 and 2021. The latest available information about the fibre broadband rollout will be posted on the When & Where page.

How do I order fibre broadband?

Once you’ve checked your line (link text to BT’s ADSL checker) to confirm fibre broadband is available, it’s much the same as ordering normal broadband. There are different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offering the service, so you can shop around and choose the best deal for you.

As a resident, why should I upgrade to fibre broadband?

Benefits for Residents (link to Benefits Residents Page)

As a business, why should I upgrade to fibre broadband?

Benefits for Businesses (link to Benefits Businesses Page)

How do I use the BT Broadband Availability Checker?

I am a Service Provider, what do I do?

We are keen to ensure that broadband service providers are aware of the location of the newly built infrastructure and how to get access to it. Service providers can register with BT Openreach (embed https://www.openreach.com/) to obtain this information.