In the early days, LCR suffered from a significant investment in digital infrastructure. While Liverpool City Centre had access to the best connectivity, many of the surrounding regions were left on much of BT’s analog exchange based technology.
As of 2021, there has been substantial investment in a number of areas with many population centres now having access to or getting access to average Broadband speeds of 80Mbps that are being delivered by Fibre to the Cabinet to even better fibre to the premises and fixed wireless access technologies.
The Liverpool City Region’s population is between about 1.5 million people with around 37,000 businesses with an average internet speed of 37.4 Mbps although this is mostly achievable in the main population centres.
- The LCR is served by a range of providers including the larger incumbent operators, BT, Virgin Media, Sky, Vodafone Talk Talk and SSE, all of which have dark fibre infrastructure within the region, and alternative providers that include 2020 Networks, Baltic Broadband, Broadway Partners, Exascale, Refind Group, Sparkz Networks National Telecoms and W3Z Broadband
- BT Exchanges: The Liverpool area has 15 telephone exchanges (100% unbunded), Sefton has 10 (100%), Knowsley has 3 (100%) , St Helens 5 (100%), Wirral has 12, Halton has 6 (50% unbundled). A number of these exchanges are scheduled for closure between now and 2030 as FTTP becomes the dominant technology.
The total number of exchanges in the North West England is 408 which represents a total of 69.36% unbundled.
Some Area Facts
- In 2016, Liverpool opened its first Internet Exchange, in the Baltic Triangle as a place for competitor networks to join, connect together and keep the regions internet traffic local
- In 2017, IX Liverpool brought the Hibernia Transatlantic Submarine Cable into the Baltic Triangle, connecting the city centre’s creative quarter to the America’s. As a substantial asset to the region, this cable connects directly to the regions internet exchange and is accessible from all six of the LCR regions areas
- In 2018, IX Liverpool began installing a number of on street Free WiFi hotspots around the region. These hotspots are sponsored by each member, who donate both the hardware and ongoing internet bandwidth and are actively growing this network with a vision to cover the entire region over the next 5 years. This free WiFi network has a single WiFI name (SSID) of LCR Free-WiFi so visitors to the area can get on-line free of charge and access local council services and connect with local businesses.