12
December
2016
|
11:43
Europe/Amsterdam

Broadband boost for thousands on Superfast Telford’s first anniversary

Summary
More than 2,000 households and businesses now able to access faster fibre broadband; Villagers quick to seize benefits of new technology being rolled out by Superfast Telford, the partnership spearheaded by Telford & Wrekin Council and BT, as part of the Government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

The Superfast Telford broadband partnership - part of the Government’s Broadband delivery (BDUK) programme - is celebrating the achievement of two important milestones, lead partners Telford & Wrekin Council and BT announced today.

More than 2,000 homes and businesses across the borough are now able to access faster fibre broadband as a result of the partnership, which connected the first premises in Dawley around 12 months ago

Other areas of the borough to benefit so far include Lawley and Oakengates.

In addition, households and businesses in Ironbridge, Lightmoor, Rodington and Waters Upton have been able to access fibre broadband for the first time as a result of the Superfast Telford roll-out.

Local residents Emma and Edward Thomas were among the first to opt for an upgrade when fibre broadband went ‘live’ in Waters Upton.

Emma, a senior executive in an international financial services firm, said: “We wanted high-speed broadband in order for us both to be online at the same time, and because we often need to connect a number of different devices to the internet. It has made a huge difference to us since we upgraded in May.

“Having access to this kind of technology means we can live in the countryside but be as connected as if we were in the city. I think it is very important that people like us can work from home and not have to travel miles to work every day or even have to move back to the city to do our jobs.

“These days we do everything online, especially since having our baby in July. Being able to do things like internet banking and shopping makes things a million times easier, especially in the run-up to Christmas.

“We also use iplayer a lot for downloading and catching up with TV. But the new service is also fast enough to stream live content as it happens rather than having to download overnight.”

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, said: "Fast, reliable broadband is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Superfast speeds will bring significant benefits to people in Telford and Wrekin - helping them to do business, access public services and connect with family and friends in a simpler and quicker way. It's great to hear more than 2,000 homes and businesses are now able to connect and I hope many more will follow."

Councillor Angela McClements, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Customer and Neighbourhood Services, said: “We are really pleased with the progress that the partnership is making to get fibre broadband to our communities across the borough. As the roll-out continues even more households and businesses will be able to benefit in the coming weeks and months thanks to the terrific work of the project team.

“It’s important to remind people that upgrades do not happen automatically. Once an area has gone ‘live’, households and businesses who want to take advantage of the many benefits, like the Thomas family, need to opt for an upgrade through their chosen fibre broadband provider.”

Ian Binks, BT’s regional manager for the West Midlands, said: “Faster fibre broadband is changing the way people communicate, learn and do business.

“Whether you’re updating a website, researching the internet for homework or using it for catch-up TV – everything is easier, better and faster if you use fibre broadband, especially at this busy time of the year.”

By the end of 2017, around 9,300 households and businesses will have access to fibre broadband, with 8,800 of them able to get ‘superfast’ download speeds of 24 megabits per second (Mbps) and above.

As the Openreach network is open to all communications providers, local households opting for an upgrade will be able to order fibre broadband with download speeds of up to 80Mbps and uploads of up to 20Mbps* from a wide range ofservice providers.

All the latest information on the programme can be found on the partnership’s website – www.superfast-telford.co.uk – including a map searchable by postcode where people can sign up to receive the latest updates.

Ends

Notes to editors

*These are the top wholesale speeds from Openreach.

Further information for the media is available from:

Russell Griffin, Public Relations Team Leader, Telford & Wrekin Council on 01952 382407, or email russell.griffin@telford.gov.uk

Or

Emma Tennant at the BT regional press office on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.comTwitter:@EmmaTennantBT

All BT news releases can be accessed at our web site: www.btplc.com

About Telford & Wrekin

Telford & Wrekin Council is a unitary authority with 170,300 residents. It is a mix of historic market towns, New Town Estates and rural villages. It has a purpose built town centre that is currently undergoing a £250m regeneration.

It is also the birthplace of the industrial revolution and home to the world’s first Iron Bridge in the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site.

We are a business winning and business supporting local authority and are proud that we represent the fastest growing town in the Midlands. Telford has excellent transport links, congestion-free roads and plenty of available land and office space. Talk to us on Twitter @TelfordWrekin and Facebook.

About Superfast Britain

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department for 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. £790m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017;
  2. £150m to provide high-speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities; and
  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

    About BT

    BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 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 of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

    For the year ended 31 March 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m.

    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