Chatburn and Sawley become latest rural communities to benefit from superfast Lancashire project

The villages of Chatburn and Sawley are celebrating the arrival of high-speed fibre broadband as part of Superfast Lancashire. 

The completion of engineering work means most of the 500 premises in Chatburn and the 150 premises in Sawley, will now be able to connect to high-speed fibre broadband. 

The Ribble Valley villages are joined by a further 700 homes and businesses in the village of Great Eccleston in Wyre, with an additional 300 premises to be connected by the end of November. 

Fibre deployment continues apace across the county with the villages of Caton and Forton now able to connect to superfast broadband for the first time. Just under 400 premises have been connected up in Caton so far. In Forton, around a third of the village – more than 100 premises are now able to access fibre broadband with more to come in the coming months. 

Further progress has also been made in areas which already have the high-speed technology including parts of Blackburn, Accrington, Nelson and Bamber Bridge. 

Villagers can look forward to download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps , enabling them to download and share large files of 
information, upload photographs, download music, films and television programmes, and surf the internet more quickly than ever before. 

Computer processing and storage of files will also become more sophisticated and secure using ‘cloud computing’ technology that delivers services over the internet. There will be faster back-up of computer systems and wider use of high-quality videoconferencing within businesses and between them and their customers. 

County Councillor Sean Serridge, Champion for Digital Inclusion, said: “We are determined that the more rural parts of the county also benefit from Superfast Lancashire so it is great to see communities like these starting to enjoy the advantages that the project is bringing. I look forward to many more rural communities getting connected." 

Superfast Lancashire, a partnership between Lancashire County Council and BT, builds on BT’s own commercial roll-out of fibre broadband in the county so that 97 per cent of homes and businesses will have access to fibre broadband by the end of 2015. 

Work on the Superfast Lancashire project is well underway across the county – with a total of around 17,000 homes and businesses expected to be connected to fibre broadband by the end of this year. Openreach engineers from BT will work on laying around 2,700 kilometres of optical fibre cable and installing a total of around 700 new fibre broadband cabinets throughout the Superfast Lancashire Broadband Project area. It is estimated that engineers will complete over a million man hours of work planning and building the network during the lifetime of the project. 

The Openreach network is open to all communications providers on an equal wholesale basis, so residents will be able to choose from a number of different suppliers of fibre broadband. 

Superfast Lancashire is a partnership between Lancashire County Council and BT, with additional funding from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK, as well as the 
European Regional Development Fund, Blackburn with Darwen Council and Blackpool Council. 

Steve Edwards, BT director for Next Generation Access for the north of the UK, added: “Fibre broadband at home means everyone in the family can do their own thing online, all at the same time, whether it’s downloading music in minutes or watching catch-up TV; streaming HD or 3D movies in the few minutes it takes to make popcorn; or posting photos and videos to social networking sites in seconds. Fibre improves the quality of online experiences and supports exciting new developments in internet services. 

“The benefits are also considerable for businesses, which can do much more in far less time. Firms can speed up file and data transfers, collaborate with colleagues and customers on conference or video calls or swap their hardware and expensive software licenses for files, processing power and software from cloud computing. Staff can work as effectively from home as they would in the office.” 
In addition to the rollout of high-speed broadband across the county, a Business Support Centre has opened as part of Superfast Lancashire run by a team of specialists to advise small and medium-sized businesses across the county how to use the new technology to enhance their business. 

More information is available from: www.superfastlancashire.com 

Notes to Editors 

Superfast Lancashire’s Business Support Programme is governed by eligibility criteria defined by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) based on size, primary activity, turnover etc. Businesses will be expected to complete an initial short self-certification form which will be validated by one of the advisors. 

The programme will link with other key support initiatives across Lancashire. This will enable businesses to gain from the extended benefits of complementary programmes such as Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, subject to not having exceeded their ERDF allowance. 

The Business Support Programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in partnership with Superfast Lancashire. 

BT is contributing £30 million to the project whilst £10.8 million will come from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), £16.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund and £5.2 million from local councils (£4.7m from LCC, £300,000 from Blackburn with Darwen Council and £230,000 from Blackpool Council. 

This project is part financed by the North West European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. 

The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit 

About BDUK 

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