Belfast Telegraph

Openreach NI backing new tech category for awards

By Stephanie Bell

Openreach Northern Ireland, the new name for BT's Northern Ireland Networks engineering division, is the sponsor of the Innovative Use of Smart Home Technology category at the Belfast Telegraph Property Awards 2018.

Mairead Meyer, managing director of Openreach Northern Ireland, said it was delighted to sponsor the category.

She said: "With homebuyers' demands for the latest fibre technology rising at an exponential rate, we are committed to working with the local property sector to meet this demand and are delighted to sponsor this brand-new category, Innovative Use of Smart Home Technology.

"At Openreach, our engineers build and maintain the copper and fibre lines that run from telephone exchanges to local homes and businesses.

"Most communications providers operating in Northern Ireland use this open access network to connect their customers to phone, broadband, data and TV services."

Openreach focuses on providing better, broader and faster connectivity and on staying at the forefront of broadband innovation as well as maintaining a strong record for serving customers across Northern Ireland.

The company conducted research this year which showed that having access to good broadband speeds is one of the deciding factors for homebuyers here.

In addition, 60% of 18 to 35-year-olds said they would check broadband speeds in advance of buying a property and 54% said they would pay more for a property with fibre broadband.

Ms Meyer said: "We also know that homebuyers want to be connected straight away when they move into a new property and to have access to the most advanced broadband technology available. This is important as demand rises for homes already equipped with the latest gadgets and innovative tech.

"We are continuing to invest in the roll-out of next generation fibre technologies and superfast fibre broadband coverage in Northern Ireland is now at more than 88%.

"We're also on track to reach our target of building 25% of homes and businesses in Northern Ireland with ultrafast broadband, bringing fibre all the way to people's front doors, by the end of next year."

The company works closely with the property sector from planning and site development, right through the build process, to ensure they get the support they need.

For new sites of five or more homes, a dedicated representative makes sure that the communications provider knows everything they need about building a FTTP network.

The team guides property developers through the installation requirements and arranges inspections of the network build to ensure that everything is delivered ahead of customers moving in.

For any development of more than 30 homes, Openreach will provide the fastest fibre connection possible with speeds up to 1Gbps.

She added: "This approach is proving to be highly beneficial for all involved and we look forward to continuing to work together with all of our partners within the property sector to bring the latest technologies to homes. We wish all of those entering this year's awards the best of luck and we look forward to hearing about all of those short-listed at the event."

To book a table at our glittering awards in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast on November 16 go to www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/propertyawards/tickets/