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Introduction Tim O'Sullivan

Superfast Broadband spreading further across UK

BT's commercial rollout of fibre and projects with Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) continue to connect thousands more people and organisations to fast broadband services.

BT launches Manifesto for Communications

BT has developed a manifesto which describes what the next government should consider in order that the UK can further build on its lead in communications.

Half of remote Devon village signs up to pioneering new superfast broadband technology

Northlew, a Devon village on the edge of Dartmoor, is one of the first places in the UK to benefit from a new way to get superfast broadband to remote areas.

Openreach to recruit a further 500 engineers

BT has announced a major expansion to the recent Openreach recruitment drive, with the creation of a further 500 full-time engineering jobs.

Also in this issue...

Even more effective nuisance call blocking phone launched

Unwanted phone calls and automated recordings from PPI claim companies and sales people are extremely annoying. In response, BT has launched the BT8500 Advanced Call Blocker. The phone is BT’s most advanced call-blocking phone to date.

The BT8500 follows on from last year’s launch of the BT6500 Nuisance Call Blocker, which can filter out calls from international, withheld and unknown numbers as well as ten specific numbers so that customers do not need to speak to them. The BT6500 quickly became BT’s fastest-ever-selling home phone.

The new phone has a ‘Call Guardian’ feature; users set up a contact list of known callers and the phone’s automated virtual assistant asks unrecognised callers to announce their name prior to being connected, allowing users to accept or reject the call before speaking to anybody. It can stop up to 100% of nuisance calls. Rejected numbers are then stored so they are blocked automatically if they call again and the phone can store up to 1,000 specific blocked numbers.

The phone blocks withheld numbers and international numbers, which account for a significant proportion of nuisance calls and users can also block by area code and mobile number. There’s also a ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode to give complete peace and quiet.

The BT8500’s recommended retail price is from £59.99 for a single handset. However, BT customers can purchase the phone from BT directly from £34.99.

New BT, EE and HTC system gives pinpoint locations of 999 mobile calls to save lives

A new service developed by BT, EE and HTC can pinpoint the source of 999 calls from mobile phones 4,000 times more accurately than the current system, to a radius of 30 metres or less, cutting emergency services handling time.

About 60 per cent of 999 and 112 calls in the UK are made from mobiles, that’s 22 million calls a year or 60,000 a day, all of which are handled by BT call centres. Currently, emergency services are only able to identify approximate locations of callers to within a few square kilometres. As a result:

The new geographical location system, called AML (Advanced Mobile Location) provides 999 operators with pinpoint location data. It can identify the source of a mobile phone emergency call to within 0.003 square kilometres, less than half the size of a football pitch.

When an emergency call is made with an AML-enabled smartphone, the phone automatically activates its location service and sends its position by text message to the 999 service, on average within 18 seconds. This text message is not visible on the handset and is not charged for. The location is then sent to the appropriate emergency service.

Developed by BT, EE and HTC working closely over the last 12 months, AML is currently available for emergency calls made on the EE network on all new HTC phones, including HTC One mini 2, HTC One (M8), HTC Desire 610, HTC One and HTC One mini.

The three companies have been working together with the other UK mobile networks so that the same approach can be used by all networks and manufacturers free of charge. It is expected that it will be available on HTC handsets on other networks shortly and a number of other handset manufacturers have started to develop it for models to be introduced in the near future.

There is also interest in AML from other countries in Europe, where there is the same challenge to find mobile emergency callers more quickly.



Constituency noticeboard

BT helps housing associations deliver digital inclusion

Housing associations can now easily offer cost-effective internet connections and devices to their tenants. A new shared internet service from BT delivers an internet connection and an affordable device, as well as offering training and support for tenants.

Tenants will gain easy access to the internet, without having to worry about things like credit checks and many housing associations will include installation costs in their pricing.

The Silver Line - helpline for older people

The Silver Line, the helpline for older people who need information, friendship, advice and protection from abuse or neglect, has taken 300,000 calls since its launch last year. It was founded by Esther Rantzen, with BT as one of the founding partners.

The Silver Line can be called on 0800 4 70 80 90.



Royal tweet declares BT-backed gallery officially open

The Queen has sent her first royal tweet to declare the Science Museum’s Information Age gallery open. Sent via the official @BritishMonarchy Twitter account, it read: “It is a pleasure to open the Information Age exhibition at the @ScienceMuseum and I hope people will enjoy visiting. Elizabeth R.”

BT is lead sponsor of the Information Age gallery as part of the company’s Connected Society programme. The permanent gallery explores how the connected world was created through six networks: the electric telegraph, the telephone exchange, radio and television broadcasting, satellite communications, computer networks and mobile communications.


Contact us

For policy enquiries please contact:
Tim O'Sullivan, Director of Public Affairs
Tel: 020 7356 6593
Fax: 020 7726 0613

For enquiries about constituency issues please contact:
Clova Fyfe, Head of Parliamentary Affairs
Tel: 020 7356 5352
Fax: 020 7726 0613

If you have an enquiry about your own home or business lines including new orders, please call the Parliamentary Helpline on 0800 200 789
(Monday - Friday 8.00am - 6.00pm)

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