Broadband lifeline for rural parts of Northamptonshire
By Paul Bimson, BT’s Regional Partnership Director for the East Midlands
At BT, we’re looking to hear from communities in Northamptonshire that would like to work with us to bring fibre broadband to their area.
In recent years, a huge amount of work has taken place across the county and we’re fast approaching 95 per cent of homes being able to get superfast download speeds.
But we also know there’s still work to do in some areas and that there are communities, which don’t yet have faster fibre broadband and are not currently included in any roll-out plans for this exciting technology.
We know speed is important. It helps you do things much faster and is a major boost for everyday things many of us take for granted – like listening to music online, catching up on TV box sets, working from home or online learning and education.
We’re having great success with a new initiative – called a Community Fibre Partnership (CFP) – specifically intended to help communities not yet involved in rollout plans. Across the UK, around 250 CFP projects have so far been agreed with local communities, of which more than 100 have already been completed.
A Community Fibre Partnership involves a local group working directly with us. There usually needs to be a joint funding arrangement, but we do everything we can to make it as affordable as possible.
There’s even a grant available of up to £20,000 if your local Ofsted registered school benefits from the work. But, whatever your circumstance, it is well worth getting in touch and finding out more.
We have a dedicated team on standby to explain things clearly and take you through the process. It really doesn’t have to be daunting. You’ll get a dedicated point of contact and help bringing your community together.
It’s already proving popular here in Northamptonshire with a number of partnerships either completed or in progress. These include the communities of Ashley, Clay Coton, Kings Cliffe and Pipewell.
Take the people of Ashley as an example. They were one of the first to use the scheme and villagers raised thousands of pounds in just a few weeks. It guaranteed them a fibre connection via the Openreach network, so they can continue choosing their own internet service provider and benefit from competitive pricing.
If you want to find out more on behalf of your community, visit www.communityfibre.bt.com. It takes just a few minutes but could be the start of an exciting journey to getting fibre broadband.
You’ll find lots of information online that clearly explains what happens, you can check your postcode to understand your fibre broadband status, and then go on to submit an expression of interest to start the ball rolling.
We look forward to working with you.
 According to the independent thinkbroadband.com