26
June
2014
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00:00
Europe/Amsterdam

Artistic Shropshire pupil with designs on faster broadband is honoured by connecting Shropshire

An artistic county youngster will today (Wednesday) be honoured by the Connecting Shropshire broadband partnership after scooping top prize in an unusual competition.

The Banksy-style art challenge was organised to mark Bicton Church of England Primary School becoming the first in the county to be served by the multi-million pound Connecting Shropshire partnership between Shropshire Council and BT.
Paige Liversidge’s design was picked from scores of imaginative entries by fellow students, to adorn the high-speed broadband cabinet outside her school in Bicton Lane, Bicton, near Shrewsbury.

Paige, aged 11, will today be joined by representatives from Shropshire Council and BT to unveil her winning design on the cabinet, which will be used to highlight to the local community that high-speed fibre broadband is now available in the area. This cabinet is one of 75 installed in the multi-million pound Connecting Shropshire broadband programme of which 55 are now ‘live’ and ready for people to order faster fibre broadband from their chosen internet service provider.
Paige Liversidge, the winning designer, said “I’m really excited to see my design go up on the cabinet. For my design I chose lots of bright colours so that people walking past would want to stop and read my sticker and learn what it means to have fast broadband.”

Commenting on the benefits of fibre broadband in the school, acting head teacher Natalie Johnson said: “Use of the internet now touches every part of the curriculum. Our pupils use it every day for everything from interactive activities to doing online research for school projects and a variety of other schoolwork. Without fast connectivity and speeds there is the risk that children will miss out on what is now an essential learning tool, so having fibre in our area is great news. We were delighted when Connecting Shropshire asked us to take part and we’re all looking forward to seeing the winning sticker in pride of place.”

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council Cabinet member responsible for broadband, said: “For us it’s great to have the real life impact of what we’re doing shine through. We’ve had more than 50 of these cabinets go live in the last few months and by getting involved with communities like this it has just brought home what we’re doing. These children have shown great creativity in their designs and the teachers and parents are rightly very proud of them, sadly my entry didn’t make the final shortlist!”

Dan Czyzyk, BT project manager, said: “Connecting Shropshire is a huge engineering programme but the roll-out is going extremely well. So far our engineers have installed around 175,000 metres of fibre optic cable, sited 75 high speed broadband cabinets* and poured over 80 tonnes of concrete!

“The new fibre optic network opens up a host of exciting opportunities for everyone – whether you’re a family with lots of different devices on at the same time, or a homeworker or small business – everything is faster and better when you’re using fibre broadband.”

The partnership builds on the commercial roll-out of fibre broadband by the private sector, which has already made the high-speed technology available to more than 110,000 Shropshire homes and businesses. The programme itself is continuing at pace with over 10,000 premises homes and businesses now within reach of the new fibre network as a result of Connecting Shropshire. More details of where and when the programme will be heading can be found at the website – www.connectingshropshire.co.uk – or by following the programme on Facebook and Twitter.

Notes to Editors:
Contact
For further information about this news release please contact: Emma Tennant at the BT Regional press office on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.com (All BT news releases can be read at www.bt.com/newscentre) or
Callum McLagan at the Shropshire Council press office on 01743 255 939 or email callum.mclagan@ipande.co.uk (All Shropshire Council news stories can be read at http://shropshire.gov.uk/news/)
Connecting Shropshire programme website: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/

About Connecting Shropshire
Connecting Shropshire is the name given to the programme bringing fibre based broadband to areas where it isn’t economically viable for commercial companies to provide it. It is a partnership between Shropshire Council, BT and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) that will enable more than 62,000 homes and businesses in Shropshire (excluding Telford and Wrekin) to access faster broadband by the end of spring 2016.
When added to BT’s commercial roll-out, 93 per cent of premises in the Shropshire Council area will have access to fibre based broadband by the end of spring 2016. All premises in the programme area will be provided with access to a basic level of broadband (a minimum of 2mbps).
* 75 cabinets have been installed to date; customers can order from 55 today with a further 20 cabinets going live in the next few weeks.

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 per cent 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