17
November
2015
|
14:50
Europe/Amsterdam

BT’s £3.4 million boost to Cheshire’s high speed broadband rollout

Summary
Cheshire’s digital revolution has had a multi-million pound boost from BT to extend the reach of high speed fibre broadband across the county.

Cheshire’s digital revolution has had a multi-million pound boost from BT to extend the reach of high speed fibre broadband across the county.

The £3.4 million boost to Connecting Cheshire, the partnership between four Cheshire Councils and BT which has already made fibre broadband available to an additional 85,000 premises, is a ‘success dividend’ due to higher than expected take-up of the service by local households and businesses.

The money is being made available by BT to Connecting Cheshire much earlier than planned to reinvest in further superfast broadband coverage to even more locations.

When the private sector’s commercial rollout is taken into account, 96 per cent of the county is already able to connect to the new fibre broadband network.And the partnership has just announced phase two of their programme which will give a further 10,000 households and firms access to superfast broadband by summer 2017.

Steve Edwards, BT Group director for next generation access, said: “The fibre broadband roll-out is a real success story, and we’re delighted to be able to share that success with Cheshire by making £3.4 million available to help connect some of the hardest to reach homes and businesses. The open network being rolled out brings real choice to communities, who are able to choose from a wide range of internet service providers, and this is helping to drive take-up which is key to the programme’s future.”

Cllr David Brown, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council on behalf of the partnership, said: “This is great news for Cheshire and a reflection of how many homes and businesses are upgrading to faster broadband; this additional investment will allow us to reach further towards 100 per cent fibre coverage, particularly in our rural areas, where the lowest speeds are most prevalent.”

The £3.4 million is being made available as a result of a ‘success dividend’ in the first phase of the Connecting Cheshire programme that allows revenue received from fibre connections to be reinvested over a number of years in further coverage if take-up by local households and businesses is better than the 20 per cent* expected at the beginning of the rollout.The higher take-up rate to date means that the partnership now expects to reach at least 30 per cent take-up.

[ends]

Notes to Editors

* This 20 percent take-up rate was based on international comparisons and BT’s experience in its own commercial roll-out.

Press contact:Graham Taylor – BT North West Regional Press Office

Tel: Direct when phoning from the NW 0800 085 0660.If phoning from outside the NW ring 01905 352361 Email:graham.2.taylor@bt.com

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 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 customer-facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2015, BT Group’s reported revenue was £17,979mwith reported profit before taxation of £2,645m.

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.