£244,000 funding to extend superfast broadband project to more rural villages

- Parts of Dingley, Loddington, Rockingham and Welford set to benefit 

More than 500 homes and businesses in rural Northamptonshire will be able to get superfast fibre broadband as a result of the Superfast Northamptonshire broadband project being awarded an extra £208,700 of government funding.

The villages of Loddington and Dingley are the main focus for these new plans with small parts of Rockingham and Welford also set to benefit.

The extra funding follows a successful county council bid to the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) rural programme. BT is also contributing an additional £36,000 to the project.

County Council Cabinet Member for Strategic Infrastructure, Andre Gonzalez de Savage, said: “It’s great news that additional coverage can be delivered through this first stage of the project, providing more of our rural communities with access to superfast broadband. We are hearing some great good-news stories from local companies who are transforming their businesses by taking advantage of superfast broadband. By the end of 2015 we should see around 90 per cent of the county’s premises able to get fibre broadband as a result of this project and the private sector’s commercial programme.”

This additional funding from BDUK extends the council’s £11.4m contract with BT for the Superfast Northamptonshire project to make superfast broadband speeds of more than 24 Mbps available to more than 50,100 premises by the end of 2015.
Some other households and businesses, which are not able to get superfast speeds, will still see speed increases if they choose to connect to the fibre network.

Engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, working on behalf of Superfast Northamptonshire, have so far installed 149 green roadside cabinets and laid more than 265 kms of new fibre optic cables in the county to make superfast broadband available to more than 34,000 premises.

The new network being delivered by Openreach is available on an equal, wholesale basis to all broadband service providers, thereby ensuring competitive pricing and products for local households and businesses.

Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for next generation access said: “This is a really exciting time for Northamptonshire as every week more homes and businesses are able to connect to our fibre broadband open network. We’ve already passed the halfway point of our contract with the county council and as this announcement shows, we continue to work with Superfast Northamptonshire to extend our coverage to include as many areas as possible.”

Loddington is a picturesque village just outside Kettering with a population of nearly 500 residents. A spokesperson for Loddington Parish Council, said: “Superfast broadband will make a big difference to the village of Loddington. Residents are using the internet in their homes on multiple devices for business, homework, leisure etc. We have a surprising number of local enterprises in the village and an increasing number of residents who spend time working from home.”

Work to bring superfast broadband to parts of Dingley, Loddington, Rockingham and Welford will get underway shortly. It’s anticipated that the new technology will be built and available in these areas by the end of 2015.

Superfast broadband is rapidly becoming essential to how we live, learn and access services - making the basic day to day activities of modern life easier and quicker for people of all ages. It is particularly vital for businesses to help them improve productivity, growth and innovation, as well as improving how they can engage with their customers and opening up opportunities worldwide.

Benefits of superfast broadband include faster download and upload speeds; the ability to access the internet via multiple devices without experiencing a slow connection, faster downloads of films and music, a better online gaming experience, improved file sharing for businesses, solutions based on Cloud computing and being able to work more flexibly.

For more information about the project, including the ability to see when services may be rolled out in your area please visit our ‘When and Where’ interactive map and project website at: www.superfastnorthamptonshire.net


For further information
Enquiries about this news release should be made to the Northamptonshire County Council press office on 01604 367324.

The BT regional press office can be contacted on its 24-hour number: 0800 085 0660. All news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.btplc.com/News
Notes to Editors

About Superfast Northamptonshire
Superfast Northamptonshire aims to secure access to superfast broadband for all parts of the county by end 2017, bridging the gap where the commercial telecoms market becomes unviable to build the network which supports service provision. Through the Northamptonshire Next Generation Strategy, the county council is investing with telecoms suppliers to deploy fibre based broadband to those parts of the county which would otherwise not be served commercially. This is could affect around 90,000 premises across Northamptonshire.

The first stage of the Superfast Northamptonshire project is being taken forward in partnership with BT who were appointed following a procurement through the Government’s Broadband Infrastructure Delivery Framework. This first stage of the project will roll out fibre-based broadband to over 56,000 premises by the end of 2015, of which over 50,100 will have access to superfast broadband (speeds above 24Mbps). This is made possible through a capital investment of £4.08m each by the county council and BDUK plus £3.2m from BT. When combined with BT’s revenue contribution, the total commitment to the broadband roll out is over £16m. This latest announcement adds another £208,708 of BDUK funding and over £36,000 from BT.

The next major stage of the project commenced in June 2014 when the county council issued its second procurement under the BDUK Broadband Framework. The outcome of this and more news about the further extension of roll out plans is expected to be announced in December 2014.

Almost three quarters of all premises in the county should be covered by the commercial fibre broadband plans of private sector telecoms providers without the need for public investment.
You can follow Superfast Northamptonshire on Twitter @SFastNorthants

About Superfast Britain
Superfast Britain is a UK Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:
• £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017
• £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
• £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services
Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.
For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk