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BT is investing £20 million in a large-scale ultrafast broadband rollout in Northern Ireland.

The provider is aiming to ensure that 25 per cent of homes and businesses in Northern Ireland have access to ultrafast broadband by March 2019.

Much of this new wave of investment will go into deploying fibre-to-the-premises technology, which can offer speeds of up to 1Gbps.

According to BT, this is fast enough to download a 45-minute TV programme in HD in just five seconds, or a two-hour HD movie in 25 seconds.

Mairead Meyer, Managing Director of Networks at BT Northern Ireland, commented: "We’re delighted to be investing at this significant level, delivering against our local ambition to futureproof our Northern Ireland infrastructure and rank favourably amongst the best fibre networks in Europe."

She stated that these investments are helping to underpin Northern Ireland's internet economy and society, and giving consumers and organisations an "online experience like never before".

Ms Meyer added that BT is keen to drive choice and competition in the broadband market, as the network is available on an open wholesale basis to all providers.

This, she said, means households and businesses will benefit from "a choice of services, competitive pricing and products".

BT's latest announcement comes shortly after it revealed that its broadband customer base grew by 22,000 between July and September 2017.

This took its overall number of broadband subscribers up to 9.3 million, which includes 5.285 million fibre broadband users.

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