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December
2014
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00:00
Europe/Amsterdam

Are you up to fibre speed for Christmas?

Households and Businesses Can Ease the Christmas Load by signing up for High-Speed Fibre Broadband 

As Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Manic Monday attract headlines, Lancashire internet shoppers are being urged to ease the load by upgrading to superfast speeds this Christmas.

Superfast Lancashire says high-speed fibre broadband can make a big difference to the online Christmas experience for the county’s households and businesses during what is expected to be a bumper online festive rush to rival all other years.

Approaching 100,000 homes and businesses in the county can already get fibre broadband as a result of the partnership. Superfast Lancashire is a partnership between Lancashire County Council and BT, with additional funding from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK, as well as the European Regional Development Fund, Blackburn with Darwen Council and Blackpool Council. The Superfast Lancashire project aims to extend high-speed broadband to 97 per cent of the county’s homes and businesses by the end of 2015.

County Councillor Sean Serridge, the county council's Champion for Digital Inclusion, said: "High-speed fibre broadband brings huge benefits for individuals and businesses and now that around 80% of the county has access to it I'd encourage people to shop around for the best deal.

"At this time of year particularly it is clear that businesses are missing out if they don't have a good online presence that allows customers to do business. Just half of Lancashire's small businesses have a website and just one in five of those allow customers to purchase online. We're committed to helping Lancashire's businesses prosper and making sure they have access to superfast broadband and helping them get online is a key part of that work. "

Steve Edwards, BT’s director of Next Generation Access, said: “With fibre broadband, Lancashire’s Christmas shoppers can have less haste and more speed. The Superfast Lancashire partnership of BT and Lancashire County Council has now given approaching 100,000 households and businesses across the county the opportunity to access high speed fibre broadband. Black Friday, Cyber and Manic Mondays, are now key days for retailers and for shoppers as use of the internet continues to soar.”

Retail researchers are confidently predicting a bumper on-foot and online Christmas rush. . They say Christmas shopping has been transformed by online shopping and by the number of internet-reliant gifts like laptops, games consoles and smartphones.

According to global information research company Experian, UK consumers made 115 million visits to retail websites in just one day – December 2 - in the run up to Christmas last year*. Among the dates expected to be particularly busy are Black Friday, when stores make surprise discount offers, Cyber Monday when the offers switch online and then Manic Monday on December 8, which saw a 120 per cent increase in traffic to retail websites last year*.

Households can help the digital devices under the Christmas tree – including tablets, gaming consoles, on demand TV and smartphones – run at optimum speed by signing up for fibre broadband.

People may have electronic games, laptops, tablets, on demand TV and phones on the top of their Christmas wish lists. Will they have enough oomph in their internet connection to get the best from these new presents? Fibre broadband can help ensure everything works without buffering and avoids Christmas Day disappointment.

High-speed fibre broadband does not happen by Christmas magic. Broadband customers need to shop around internet service providers and get the best deal for a faster, fibre service.
Check high speed fibre broadband availability at Superfast Lancashire: www.superfastlancashire.com

* Experian Cyber Monday research http://www.experian.co.uk/marketing-services/about/news/cyber-monday-biggest-shopping-day-ever-seen-in-uk.html


Notes to Editors
* 80Mbps and 20Mbps are wholesale speeds. ISPs may use different speeds in their advertising. Individual line speeds will depend on network infrastructure and the service chosen by the ISP
Superfast Lancashire’s Business Support Programme is governed by eligibility criteria defined by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) based on size, primary activity, turnover etc. Businesses will be expected to complete an initial short self-certification form which will be validated by one of the advisors.

The programme will link with other key support initiatives across Lancashire. This will enable businesses to gain from the extended benefits of complementary programmes such as Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, subject to not having exceeded their ERDF allowance.

The Business Support Programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in partnership with Superfast Lancashire.

BT is contributing £30 million to the Superfast Lancashire project whilst £10.8 million will come from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), £16.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund and £5.2 million from local councils (£4.7m from LCC, £300,000 from Blackburn with Darwen Council and £230,000 from Blackpool Council).

This project is part financed by the North West European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit

https://www.gov.uk/erdf-programmes-and-resources#north-west
Superfast Britain is a 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