A 99 ice cream summer celebration for Superfast Malvern

Worcestershire County Council and BT mark 99per cent Malvern town coverage; Harriett Baldwin MP hails important milestone; 

Work at home mum welcomes teenager-must-have communications;

Malvern has scored 99 out of 100 with the arrival of high-speed broadband.
Ninety nine per cent of homes and businesses in the picturesque town can now get fibre broadband following the switching on of the street cabinet in Swinyard Road, Malvern Vale.

Although the Superfast Worcestershire partnership expects fibre broadband coverage across Worcestershire to exceed 90 per cent, the existing layout of the network has allowed the town of Malvern to go much further and achieve this exceptional figure.

Harriett Baldwin MP for West Worcestershire, said: “Malvern Vale was one of the more challenging cabinets in the town and I raised the concerns of residents with BT’s management on a number of occasions.

“I am pleased that the Superfast Worcestershire project team has been able to bring about this success story and I welcome their efforts to get faster connections to the hundreds of homes served by this cabinet.

“The good news is that Malvern is very nearly completely upgraded and I hope those people who are not yet connected in the town will get in touch with the county council.

“Meanwhile, I will be turning my attention to the many rural areas which are still having to cope with poor broadband service and I look forward to seeing many more cabinet upgrades in my constituency over the coming months.”

People in the Worcestershire town, with its high tech history and picture postcard looks, is delighted high-speed broadband has arrived. And no one more so than Jackie Degville who lives with her daughter, Sammie, on Midsummer Close around the corner from the new street cabinet.

Jackie, who is able to work from home thanks to broadband, is reliant on the fibre technology for a number of reasons.

She said: “It means I can work from home – I can work more flexibly and it makes work more enjoyable. And it means my beautiful daughter gets to use all her devices – phones, tablets and the rest. What would teenagers do without broadband?”

And following recent bereavements the technology is that much more important. “When I go on holiday I am able to keep in touch with my daughter every day by using online video. And when I am at home working for Natural England it is great to be among the Malvern Hills,” she said.

Simon Geraghty, the Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy, skills, and infrastructure, agrees that high-speed broadband is as important for people as it is for businesses: "High-speed fibre broadband is important for everyone to be able to make the most of the growing range of online services. Ensuring people and businesses can have the best possible experiences interacting via the internet is a vital part of the County Council's strategy to support Worcestershire's future economy and keep the county Open for Business.

"We are, therefore, delighted to see the latest cabinet coming into operation which means more people, like Jackie, having the opportunity to access more services via the internet and able to have a better online experience."

Ian Binks, BT’s Worcestershire and West Midlands regional director, said: ““This achievement is a real bonus for Malvern people and businesses. The engineers at BT’s local network business, Openreach, have worked hard to bring this fibre broadband network to as many as possible and we already know from expanding the coverage in the rest of the county that it can bring positive changes to people’s lives and work.”

The switch-on in Malvern is part of the £20 million partnership of Worcestershire County Council (WCC) and BT which is bringing fibre broadband to more areas in the county. Superfast Worcestershire is financed with up to £8.5 million from WCC, £8.9 million from BT and a further £3.35 million from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme. In total, nearly 55,000 businesses and homes are set to benefit from the partnership rollout. This builds on BT’s commercial fibre programme so that by June 2016 more than 90 per cent of Worcestershire homes and business will be within reach of the fibre network.

Local people wanting updates on the fibre roll-out can visit the Superfast Worcestershire website at: www.superfastworcestershire.comand register for further updates, visit the Facebook page and join the conversation on Twitter #SuperfastWorcs.

Note to Editors
Press Office Contacts
For more information please contact Worcestershire County Council please email:
commsunit@worcestershire.gov.uk or telephone: 01905 822058. For information about BT please contact the regional press office on 0800 085 0660.All BT news releases can be accessed athttp://www.btplc.com/News
• Worcestershire County Council is contributing up to £8.5 million, with an additional £3.35 million coming from the from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds through the Superfast Britain initiative (please see below). BT is also contributing £8.9 million towards the overall cost of the Superfast Worcestershire deployment, having been chosen following an extensive and thorough selection process.