Community scheme brings high-speed fibre broadband to Derbyshire villages

Parts of Whaley Bridge set to benefit – along with Buxton Sterndale and Langley Mill

A new partnership involving local residents is set to make ultrafast fibre broadband available to homes in Ladder Hill, near Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire.

They’ve joined forces with Openreach, the local network business which is part of BT Group, to get the latest Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology capable of delivering ultrafast speeds up to one gigabit per second (Gbps). The high-speed service will be available within 12 months and residents will have a choice of service providers.

Mark Mullett, who led the local community group to campaign for faster broadband, said: “Since I moved here in 2012 we have been trying to manage with speeds of around 1Mbps, but soon things will be a lot easier when we can take advantage of ultrafast speeds. We’ll be able to Skype family members; keep the children entertained online with games and kids tv; stream entertainment services like Netflix and run our businesses from home much more efficiently. That’s all pretty impressive when you’re high on a hill in Derbyshire!”

The scheme is one of a number of Derbyshire projects where Openreach is working directly with local communities to help improve rural broadband. Other examples are at Buxton Sterndale and Langley Mill.

Buxton resident, Jamie Stafford, who helped lead the community campaign there, said: “We typically get low single figure download speeds, which makes it difficult to work from home, play games online, or to use the internet for homework. If we’re planning to watch a film on Saturday night, we’ll start downloading it when we go to bed the night before. To know that will take a matter of minutes when fibre broadband arrives is exciting and we’re looking forward to joining the 21st century.”

Steve Haines, managing director for next generation access at Openreach, said: “It’s great to be able to work with communities across Derbyshire to find a broadband solution. Partnerships like this help us to bring high-speed connections to challenging areas that broadband providers struggle to upgrade alone.

“More than 92 per cent of the UK can access superfast speeds today, and we’re committed to making fibre broadband as widely available as possible. That’s why we’re investing in hundreds of similar projects across the UK, with more than 300 contracts signed to date, working in partnership with business and residential communities to deliver faster speeds from a wide choice of competing service providers.”

The Openreach network offers wholesale fibre broadband access to all communications providers under the same prices, terms and conditions, so local households and businesses have a choice of many competing services from more than a hundred different providers.

For more information on community fibre partnerships with BT, visit www.communityfibre.bt.com