Connecting Shropshire and local housing developer cement superfast broadband deal for new estate near Oswestry

More than 100 homes in Gobowen, near Oswestry, are to benefit from the roll-out of fibre broadband thanks to the Connecting Shropshire partnership led by Shropshire Council and BT and a new deal with Shrewsbury-based Fletcher Homes (Shropshire) Ltd.

Connecting Shropshire and Fletcher Homes (Shropshire) Ltd have agreed to co-fund the roll-out of superfast fibre broadband to the new Wat’s Meadow estate in the village of Gobowen, near Oswestry.

Around 50,000 households and businesses across the county already have access to faster fibre broadband as a result of Connecting Shropshire, the partnership between Shropshire Council, BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

Now an additional 124 households at Wat’s Meadow, the housing estate built by the Shrewsbury-based housebuilder, are also set to benefit following a co-funding deal between the developer and Connecting Shropshire.

Whilst much of Gobowen already has access to fibre broadband, most people living in Wat’s Meadow are currently only able to access broadband speeds of around two megabits per second (2Mbps) or less. If everything goes to plan, the first homes will be able to upgrade to superfast broadband before the end of next year.

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council Cabinet member responsible for broadband, said: “I’m all in favour of working collaboratively with other stakeholders to bring fibre broadband to those parts of Shropshire not in our roll-out plan. I’d like to pay tribute to Fletcher Homes for their proactive approach to resolving this issue. I’m pushing for the process to be expedited so that access to faster broadband can be provided to Wat’s Meadow as soon as possible.”

Owen Paterson, MP for North Shropshire, said: “I have been pressing for a solution to this issue of poor broadband for residents of Wat’s Meadow since first being contacted by one of my constituents in October last year. I am pleased to see that our efforts have been rewarded and I will continue to lobby for better superfast broadband and mobile phone coverage in North Shropshire.”

Ian Binks, BT’s regional manager for Shropshire and the West Midlands, said: “Connecting Shropshire is a multi-million pound engineering programme which is progressing extremely well. When combined with BT’s commercial roll-out, more than 177,000 premises across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin are now able to access faster fibre broadband, and we’re committed to finding solutions for those communities not yet covered by any partnership or commercial roll-out by the private sector*. This collaborative approach with Fletcher Homes is a great example of what can be achieved. As a result, households at Wat’s Meadow will be able to access broadband download speeds that are around 25 times faster than they are able to get at the moment.”

Jonathan Westwood, the managing director of Fletcher Homes, said: “We’re pleased to be able to work with Connecting Shropshire to bring better broadband to Wat’s Meadow. Customer satisfaction is the key driver in all that we do, so I’m glad that we’ve been able to find a solution to this issue, which home owners have spoken to us about.

“Knowing how important access to high-speed broadband is in the 21st century, I’m pleased to say that our new developments in Ellesmere and Cross Houses will have access to fibre broadband.”

People wanting to find out if fibre broadband is available in their area should enter their phone number or postcode in the checker on the Connecting Shropshire website: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/when-and-where/

Residents and businesses wanting to upgrade should contact their chosen broadband service provider - the broadband speeds don’t increase automatically.

Notes to Editors

*Solutions include BT’s Community Fibre Partnerships initiative, introduced to help communities in areas not currently earmarked for a fibre broadband upgrade. So far, BT has signed contracts with over 100 communities, more than half of which are already up and running. To find out more: http://www.communityfibre.bt.com/


Issued by Shropshire Council on behalf of Connecting Shropshire and Fletcher Homes (Shropshire) Ltd.

For more information, please contact Adam Spreckley at the Shropshire Council press office on 01743 252826 or email adam.spreckley@shropshire.gov.uk


Emma Tennant at the BT regional press office on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.com Twitter:@EmmaTennantBT

About Connecting Shropshire

The Connecting Shropshire programme is bringing fibre based broadband to areas where it isn’t economically viable for commercial companies to provide do so. It’s a partnership between Shropshire Council, BT and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) that will enable more than 62,000 homes and businesses in Shropshire (excluding Telford & Wrekin) to access faster broadband by the end of 2016. In June 2015, the partnership announced additional funding that will enable approximately 4,000 more homes and businesses to access high-speed fibre broadband during 2017 and 2018.

Connecting Shropshire programme website: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/

All Shropshire Council news stories can be read at http://shropshire.gov.uk/news/

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 180 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 of six customer-facing lines of business: Global Services, Business and Public Sector, Consumer, EE, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m.

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

About Fletcher Homes (Shropshire) Ltd

With over 70 years of consistently high levels of construction Fletcher (Shropshire) Homes has an established reputation throughout Shropshire for superb new build quality homes for the discerning first time buyer, down sizers, growing families and investors alike.

Contact details:

Fletcher Homes (Shropshire) Limited
95 Mount Pleasant Road

Tel: 01743 267020