Central Superfast programme hits 10,000 properties milestone

On the day the Government is celebrating more than 2 million UK homes and businesses having access to superfast broadband as a result of the BDUK programme over 10,000 extra homes and businesses can now connect to faster broadband - as the Central Superfast programme nears the end of its first eight months of action.

Central Superfast is a partnership between Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Councils and BT to deliver superfast broadband services to residents and businesses. Since June 2014 when the first green roadside cabinets were switched on, excellent progress has been made. More than 50 new structures are up and running, making high-speed broadband available to more than 10,000 extra homes and businesses, and work is continuing at speed.

The multi-million pound Central Superfast partnership will make high-speed fibre broadband more widely available throughout Bedfordshire and Milton Keyes, especially in rural areas. It builds on BT’s existing commercial roll-out, which has already made fibre broadband available to around 300,000 Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes homes and businesses.

The broadband leads of the three Central Superfast Councils, Cllr Richard Wenham (Central Bedfordshire Council), Mayor Dave Hodgson (Bedford Borough Council) and Cllr Rob Middleton (Milton Keynes Council) said, “Giving over 10,000 more properties access to faster broadband is a significant achievement and very much demonstrates the great things to come from the Central Superfast programme.

“Faster broadband will boost the Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes economies, help us to attract new businesses to the area and create new jobs. It will also make it far easier for residents to access the internet and the benefits it can offer.

“We’re tremendously proud of what we have achieved in a short space of time and look forward to seeing this first project’s rollout completed within the next two years. We are also pushing hard to extend superfast broadband coverage as far as possible, and a second phase of the project will support thousands more residents and business to access superfast broadband. ”

The new technology provides download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps, with the potential for even faster speeds in the future.

Businesses in these areas will be able to work faster and more efficiently. Having fibre broadband means users are able to run multiple, bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time and send and receive large amounts of data faster. Computer systems will be easier to back up and high quality video conferencing will become more commonplace.

Residents can also enjoy a boost in speeds for home entertainment. They will able to simultaneously download movies, transfer files, watch TV replays, surf the internet and play online games.

Downloading a whole music album could take them less than 30 seconds and a feature length HD movie less than 10 minutes, whilst high-resolution photos can be uploaded to Facebook in seconds.

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director next generation access, said: “Today marks a giant step forward in the rollout of fibre broadband in Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes and across the UK.

“Working in partnership we have been able to reach into the heart of scores of communities across the region that would have so far been beyond the reach of this vital technology. Already we can see the impact that fibre is having nationally with the Government’s estimate of more than 56,000 jobs created as a result of this rollout by 2024 and rural economies benefiting by around £9 million every day due to the work being done now.

“We are proud to be delivering on our promises and BT’s high-speed fibre network now reaches almost 22 million premises nationwide – around three quarters of the UK – but we recognise there’s more to do.”


Notes to editors

Editors’ notes:
Broadband is classified as ‘Superfast’ for speeds of greater than 24 Megabits per second.

About Central Superfast
‘Central Superfast’ is a joint partnership between Bedford Borough Council, Milton Keynes Council and Central Bedfordshire Council and BT and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) the government broadband delivery agency. It aims to build upon the private sector’s roll-out to extend the availability of fibre broadband to over 90% of homes and businesses in Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes by Spring 2016.

Funding for the project has been provided by the three Central Superfast councils, BDUK and BT.

In addition, the project aims to ensure broadband speeds of above 2 megabits per second are made available to all homes and businesses that might still be getting slower speeds even after the second ‘Phase 2’ superfast project.

About 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 further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk