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.
Speaking about the sponsorship, Mairead Meyer, Managing Director of Openreach Northern Ireland, 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 we 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.
“We continually focus on providing better, broader and faster connectivity and to staying at the forefront of broadband innovation and maintaining our strong record for serving customers across Northern Ireland.
“We conducted research* this year which showed that having access to good broadband speeds is one of the deciding factors for homebuyers in NI. In addition, 60% of 18-35-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.
“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 becoming increasingly important as demand rises for homes already equipped with the latest gadgets and innovative tech.
“We are continuing to invest in the rollout 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 2019.
“We work 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 New Sites Representative makes sure that the communications provider know everything they need about building an 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 new development of more than 30 homes, we will provide the fastest fibre connection possible with speeds up to 1Gbps.
“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 across Northern Ireland.
“We wish all of those entering this year’s Awards the best of luck and we look forward to hearing about all of those shortlisted at the event.”