Boost for more Staffordshire homes and businesses as superfast Staffordshire celebrates 30,000 milestone

Abbots Bromley, Ash Bank, Blackshaw Moor, Colton, Kidsgrove, Milford and Stone are among the latest communities to benefit 

More than 30,000 homes and businesses across the county are now able to connect to faster fibre broadband thanks to the Superfast Staffordshire partnership.

The achievement was confirmed by partners Staffordshire County Council and BT. It marks a third of the way through the project, which is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

The local milestone comes as the Government today announced two million homes and businesses around the UK are now able to get superfast broadband as a result of BDUK investment.

Parts of Ash Bank, Kidsgrove, Milford and Stone not previously covered by any commercial upgrades are among the latest local communities to benefit, as well as Abbots Bromley, Blackshaw Moor and Colton, where fibre is being made available for the first time.

Colton resident, Duncan Shortland, who upgraded to fibre broadband recently, said: “I’ve noticed a big improvement – I can now access web pages more rapidly and use iPlayer without that annoying glitch. The increased speed of access makes using the internet much more productive.”

County Councillor Mark Winnington, Cabinet Member for Economy, Environment and Transport, said: “The Superfast Staffordshire project is vital to people and businesses. It will increase opportunities, accessibility and economic growth. This infrastructure is as important as road or rail – connecting people wherever they live.

“In just 10 months, we’ve been able to install over 170 new live cabinets across the county, giving 30,000 additional premises access to all of the benefits that fibre broadband has to offer. We’re looking forward to seeing this figure more than doubled by the end of 2015. We know ours is a worth investment and is already making a difference.”

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation broadband, said: “Today marks a giant step forward in the roll-out of fibre broadband in Staffordshire and across the UK. Here more than 320,000 homes and businesses now have access to high-speed fibre broadband thanks to Superfast Staffordshire and BT’s own commercial fibre broadband programme. We’re now reaching into the hearts of scores of communities across the region that have so far been beyond the reach of this vital technology.

“There can be few areas of modern life which are not influenced in some way by broadband – whether it’s supporting how we work, how we learn, how we communicate with friends and family, or how we entertain ourselves. Now’s the time to embrace high-speed broadband and switch to the superfast lane.”

People can follow the progress of the roll-out via the Superfast Staffordshire website: www.superfaststaffordshire.co.uk and via Twitter @superfaststaffs

Once an area has ‘gone live’, local people will be able to get download speeds of up to 80 megabits (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps*.

It’s an ‘opt in’ service, but because the Openreach network is ‘open’, residents and businesses wanting to upgrade have a choice of fibre broadband providers, with more than 140 companies now operating across the UK.

Notes to Editors:
* These are the top wholesale speeds available from BT’s local network business Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

Issued by Staffordshire County Council and BT.

Photos of the roll-out of Superfast Staffordshire can be downloaded for free from:https://flic.kr/s/aHsk1eZqD3

About Superfast Staffordshire
Superfast Staffordshire is a partnership between Staffordshire County Council, BDUK and BT. Superfast Staffordshire is building on the commercial roll-out to bring fibre-based broadband to 97 per cent of premises by Spring 2016.
The partnership is investing more than £27 million (£7.44 million from Staffordshire County Council, £7.44m from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK and £12.47m from BT.)
For those premises not included in the fibre footprint, Superfast Staffordshire is aiming to improve broadband speeds using alternative technologies.

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:
1. £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017
2. £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
3. £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