20
November
2014
|
00:00
Europe/Amsterdam

Blaby villages get access to high-speed fibre broadband

- Homes and businesses in Countesthorpe, Huncote and Whetstone encouraged to sign-up for fibre broadband 

The first homes and businesses in Blaby district to benefit from the county council’s £18.8m Superfast Leicestershire partnership with BT can now get high-speed fibre broadband.

New green roadside cabinets have been installed to make the new technology available to parts of Countesthorpe, Huncote and Whetstone.

More than 250 additional households and businesses across the three areas are now able to sign up for fibre broadband - and the roll-out continues.

It builds upon BT’s extensive commercial roll-out in Blaby district, which has already made fibre broadband available to more than 53,000 homes and businesses.

Blaby District Council leader Ernie White said: “This is fantastic news for residents and business owners residing in our district. I’m pleased to see superfast broadband is available to more properties in the three villages, and look forward to it being rolled out further across the rest of the area.”

Pam Posnett, the county council’s cabinet member for broadband, said: “It’s great that we’ve started work in Blaby. Superfast broadband makes a real difference to the strength of our communities and local economy and I look forward to hitting our eventual target of 62,000.”

Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director of next generation access, said: “Online shopping is increasingly big business with experts predicting nearly five billion pounds will be spent online during the festive period this year. It’s therefore extremely pleasing that more and more homes and businesses in the Blaby district are now well placed to take advantage of their first Christmas with superfast speeds.”

The Superfast Leicestershire partnership has already provided more than 10,000 homes and businesses across Leicestershire with access to fibre broadband. By the end of March 2016, it’s anticipated more than 62,000 premises in the county, including more than 6,400 in the Blaby district, will have access due to the programme.

The high-speed network is available on an open, wholesale basis to all internet service providers, offering Leicestershire households and businesses the benefit of real choice from a highly competitive market.

Blaby District Council is contributing £50,000 towards the Superfast Leicestershire project, along with other local authorities, with the remaining funding coming from Leicestershire County Council (£5.1m), The Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme (£3.4 million) and £1.2 million from the European Regional Development Fund. BT is also contributing £9.1 million towards the overall cost of the Superfast Leicestershire deployment.

So far, engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network business, have laid more than 127 kilometres of fibre cables and installed 55 new roadside fibre broadband cabinets as part of the project.

Benefits of fibre 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.

Residents and businesses in Countesthorpe, Huncote and Whetstone are now encouraged to contact their internet service provider and sign up to the new superfast service.

For more information about the Superfast Leicestershire project, visit www.superfastleicestershire.org.uk


ENDS

Notes for Editors

Superfast Leicestershire is a project that seeks to extend high-speed fibre broadband coverage beyond the existing commercial fibre broadband rollout of companies such as Openreach (a BT Group company) and Virgin Media to 96% of premises. We anticipate that 62,000 premises will be able to access fibre broadband.
The county council is investing £4.0m in this project. £1.1m has been allocated by the district and borough councils, with an additional £3.4m coming from the Government and £1.2m from the European Union. BT is also contributing £9.1m towards the overall cost of the Superfast Leicestershire project.
Many homes and businesses in the county may already have access to broadband. Superfast Leicestershire concentrates on the areas the commercial rollout is not able to reach. In addition to the commitment to extend superfast broadband coverage, Superfast Leicestershire aims to ensure all premises have access to at least 2Mbps.
The county council is keen to ensure that everyone within Leicestershire can benefit from this project as it helps to grow the economy over the coming years. The county council anticipates that this investment in superfast broadband could generate £92m of economic growth by 2021, and will work with local communities as well as help small businesses to adopt technologies and grow.


About BT
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of five lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.
For the year ended 31 March 2014, BT Group’s reported revenue was £18,287m with reported profit before taxation of £2,312m.
British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.
For more information, visit www.btplc.com.

Superfast Britain
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 more information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk

ERDF
The Superfast Leicestershire project is part financed by the 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
www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding