£1.1 million fibre broadband extension to benefit four Rutland villages

Work is underway to make high-speed fibre broadband available to around 900 homes and businesses across four Rutland villages, it was announced today.

Work is underway to make high-speed fibre broadband available to around 900 homes and businesses across four Rutland villages, it was announced today.

The council’s Digital Rutland broadband partnership with BT is extending the original programme that’s already connected thousands of people across the county.

Areas set to benefit from this second phase of work include the villages of Barleythorpe, Bisbrooke, Braunston and Pickworth.

Engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network business, are already busy with survey and planning work. The next stage will be to install new underground fibre cables and, in some areas, new green roadside fibre broadband cabinets.

Councillor Terry King, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Development, said:

“When the Council and BT first embarked on Digital Rutland in 2012, we couldn’t have predicted just how successful the programme would be. Four years later, Rutland is leading the way in the UK with more than 45 per cent of homes and businesses having already signed up to a fibre broadband package.

“Once complete, this next phase of work will mean that around 95 per cent of premises in Rutland are able to connect to fibre broadband and enjoy all the benefits associated with faster internet speeds. We’re also exploring solutions for any remaining properties with the aim of ensuring that all homes and businesses in the County can access speeds of at least 2Mbps.”

Rutland County Council and BT signed a contract in 2012 to make fibre available across much of the county, and more than 9,500 premises have already benefited.

The latest figures available show the number of homes and businesses in Rutland signing up to fibre broadband, more than 45 per cent, is higher than any other county in the UK. That number continues to grow.

Further work is also taking place in Barnsdale, Burley, Egleton, Gunthorpe, Little Casterton, Pilton, Ridlington, Ryhall, Tickencote, Tinwell, Tolethorpe and Wardley.

Meanwhile, the council and BT continue to explore solutions for those few properties that will remain with the aim of helping them get a long-term broadband solution.

Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for next generation access, said: “Rutland was one of the very first projects to sign a contract with BT and we look forward to building on our early success by extending the programme even further. Fibre broadband is such a key part of everyday life and I’m sure people living in these four villages are looking forward to being able to sign-up to a fibre broadband package.”

People are using fibre for many things including going online to watch the latest TV and films, play computer games, stream music or use social media to stay in touch with family and friends.

Fibre broadband helps make everything happen online much faster than a standard broadband connection. The fibre broadband network already in place across Rutland offers download speeds up to 80Mbps.

At 50Mbps, a music album will take roughly 16 seconds to download, compared to more than three minutes on a 4Mbps connection. A high-quality film will take around four minutes to download on a 50Mbps fibre connection, compared to 50 minutes on a standard 4Mbps connection.

Digital Rutland is a multi-million pound partnership between Rutland County Council, BT and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).

All of the work is being carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business, meaning people with access to the fibre network can choose from a range of internet providers and benefit from competitive pricing.

For more information about the Digital Rutland project and latest developments, please visit: www.rutland.gov.uk/digitalrutland.