Connecting Cheshire 10000 more homes and businesses access to superfast

An extra 10,000 homes and businesses to get superfast broadband in latest roll-out across Cheshire

Superfast fibre broadband will soon be available to an extra 10,000 homes and businesses across Cheshire, Halton and Warrington – thanks to a second phase of roll-out by Connecting Cheshire.

The new cabling work to boost the network coverage has already started. More than £6m will be invested by summer 2017 to provide fibre broadband technology to many areas unable to benefit from previous investment.

The Phase 2 funding* has been provided bythe government, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton and Warrington councils and BT.

Rural areas such as Arley, Burleydam, Gawsworth, Huxley and Wincle will join the fibre fast lane for the first time as the network is extended.

The fibre network will also be extended in some urban areas and outlying areas, such as Malpas, Cholmondeley, Bunbury, and Mobberley, which already have some coverage as a result of the first phase of the Connecting Cheshire programme.

For full details of the areas included, to download detailed maps and details of a public information event being held in Alderley Park conference centre on November 6, visit: www.connectingcheshire.org.uk

To date, the Connecting Cheshire Partnership with BT has given more than 84,000 premises access to high speed fibre broadband.

More than 450 street fibre broadband cabinets have already gone ‘live’ and the new maps issued today set out the timetable for the coming months up to the end of the programme in 2017.

Connecting Cheshire is also actively seeking additional funding to extend the network beyond its current plans and to increase speeds in the most rural and technically challenging areas.

Councillor David Brown, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This is fantastic news for residents as we will be able to reach more premises with fibre, particularly those rural areas where some of the lowest speeds remain.

“We are determined to ensure that faster broadband is available to as many premises as possible so that the social and economic benefits can be realised – not only for our businesses but for people of all ages.”

Mike Blackburn, BT regional director for the North West, said: “BT has provided a further £1.8m to boost the reach of the new roll-out of this truly transformational technology.

“Engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, have already done a superb job, in such a short space of time, to ensure that so many more homes and businesses in Cheshire can benefit from a more connected society.”

Notes to Editors:

*Phase 2 funding consists of the following:

  • Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) £1.82m
  • Cheshire Councils£1.82m
  • Rural Community Broadband Fund £643,000.
  • BT £1.8m

About Superfast Britain

Superfast Britain is a Government investment of £1.08bn 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 comprises three linked programmes:

● £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95 per cent 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 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

About Connecting Cheshire

The Connecting Cheshire project was launched in April 2013, and is a partnership of four councils – Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Halton and Warrington – and BT. Its Phase 1 £28.5m roll-out has been funded by £13.6m from the European Development Fund**, £9m from BT, £4m from BDUK with £1.85m provided jointly from the councils.

The Phase 1 project has provided fibre broadband to more than 80,000 homes and businesses. This builds on BT’s commercial investment so that 96 percent of Cheshire –around 400,000 premises – will be reached with fibre by the end of 2015.

A £6m Phase 2 project will reach a further 10,000 premises by summer 2017.

The project will reach those areas outside of any commercial broadband roll-out using a partnership approach to ensure all communities have access to the fastest possible broadband speeds. For more information visit www.connectingcheshire.org.uk

**About ERDF

The project is part financed by the North West Competitiveness Programme, 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 www.gov.uk/erdf-programmes-progress-and-achievements

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 £17,979m with 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