Christmas comes Hurley as CSW Broadband project celebrates double milestone in three North Warwickshire villages

More than 20,000 homes and businesses now within reach of new fibre optic network;

Village schools welcome the news as boost for learning
Christmas has come early to three North Warwickshire villages, thanks to the multi-million pound CSW Broadband fibre optic roll-out programme.

Hurley, Kingsbury and Wood End are the latest communities to be enabled for high-speed fibre broadband, lead partners Warwickshire County Council and BT announced today.

The partnership is celebrating a double milestone after switching on the programme’s 100th fibre optic road-side cabinet, which is in Tamworth Road, Kingsbury. This latest development takes the total number of homes and businesses now able to connect to faster fibre broadband as a result of the CSW Broadband roll-out to more than 20,000.

A total of nine new metal cabinets have been installed to bring around 3,500 premises in the three communities within reach of the new fibre network.

The news has been welcomed as a boost for the local communities, especially coming in the run-up to Christmas.

Martin Clarke, deputy head teacher at Kingsbury School, said: “Educationally, ICT and access to the digital world is extremely powerful and faster broadband will continue to enhance the provision to the benefit of all our students.”

Karen Hanson, head teacher at Kingsbury Primary School, said: “Having access to decent broadband will make such a difference to us. We have lots of equipment in school and look forward to our pupils being able to do things at the same time, rather than having to wait for connections. As technology becomes more integrated into the school curriculum good connectivity is vital for pupils and teachers alike.”

Councillor Alan Cockburn, deputy leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: "This is a major milestone. It is just nine months since the first cabinet went live and now over 20,000 properties can access high-speed fibre broadband. The roll-out is really gathering pace now and communities are really benefitting from having much better access to information and services"

Ian Binks, BT partnership director, West Midlands, said: “CSW Broadband is a huge engineering undertaking, but the roll-out is progressing extremely well and our teams are working hard to connect more communities as quickly as possible.

“Reaching this double milestone is a great achievement, and an especially welcome one, coming in the run-up to Christmas when people are increasingly relying on the internet for shopping, playing games online and other leisure activities.

“At the same time, faster fibre broadband enables small businesses to stay in contact with their customers and suppliers more easily and quickly.”

Anyone wanting to follow the progress of the CSW Broadband roll-out should log onto: www.cswbroadband.org.uk or look out for updates on Twitter and Facebook.

It’s an ‘opt in’ service, but because network is being installed by Openreach - BT’s local network business - it is ‘open’, so residents and businesses wanting to upgrade have a choice of providers, with more than 140 fibre broadband companies now operating in the UK. Once an area has gone live, local people will be able to get download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps*.

During the CSW Broadband roll-out around 250 new street-side cabinets will be installed to connect people to the new network across the partnership area.

The project will build on BT’s on-going commercial investment in fibre. The company has already pledged to bring faster fibre broadband to more than 1.7 million homes and businesses across the counties of the West Midlands – including more than 400,000 premises in Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire - as part of its UK-wide £2.5 billion rollout.
Note to Editors
* These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

About CSW Broadband - http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk
CSW Broadband is a partnership of eight Local Authorities (Coventry, Solihull, Warwickshire and the Boroughs and Districts of North Warwickshire, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Rugby, Warwick and Stratford on Avon).
The project office is hosted by Warwickshire County Council and is based in Warwick. The project team can be contacted on 01926 738339 or broadband@warwickshire.gov.uk
The CSW Superfast Broadband Programme is in addition to, and separate from, Coventry City Council’s ‘Super Connected Cities’ Programme.

About 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