Connecting Shropshire connects Pontesbury exchange area to fibre broadband
More than 2,300 homes and businesses in Pontesbury, Minsterley and Snailbeach now have access to fibre broadband
The roll-out of fibre based broadband across Shropshire passed another milestone this week as the final cabinet in Pontesbury exchange area was connected to the new faster fibre optic network.
Eleven fibre broadband cabinets, serving 2,300 premises in communities including Minsterley, Snailbeach and Pontesbury itself, are now “live”. Customers served by them can place an order for fibre broadband with an internet service provider of their choice.
Daniel Kawczynski, MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, who visited the community, said:
“This is great news for the Pontesbury area, and represents new opportunities for businesses and residents alike. Government recognises that there is still more to do and I will continue to lobby for an expansion of this important programme.”
Current national plans will ensure superfast speeds for 90% of the UK by 2015, but Government believes that its transformation of the digital landscape should reach every area of the UK.
“Focus is now on those harder to reach areas, which we have a number of in Shropshire. A series of pilot projects are currently under way nationally and we want to see these replicated in Shropshire to investigate the best way of bringing better broadband to all.”
The engineering work in Pontesbury is the latest development by Connecting Shropshire, a partnership between Shropshire Council, BT and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) that will enable more than 62,000 homes and businesses in Shropshire to access faster broadband by the end of spring 2016.
The Pontesbury announcement came as the Government announced that more than 1 million UK homes and businesses now have access to superfast broadband as a result of the UK-wide rollout. The rate at which superfast technology is being rolled out under the Government programme is rapidly accelerating. Up to 40,000 premises are now gaining access every week and the programme will extend superfast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017.
Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT, said: “The Connecting Shropshire programme is making strong progress, bringing high-speed fibre broadband to some of the most challenging areas. The programme shows the power of the public and private sectors working together. BT has brought technical expertise to the table as well as millions of pounds of investment and, if we can go further, we will do so. This exciting technology is providing a major boost for local households and businesses whether they are using it to work more efficiently and find new customers or for online learning and leisure.”
Connecting Shropshire is currently in Stage 3 of a 9 phase programme that will provide 93 per cent of premises with access to the faster fibre network by the end of spring 2016 with all premises in the programme area getting at least a basic level of broadband. It builds on BT’s commercial roll-out of fibre broadband which has already made the technology available to around 54,000 premises across Shropshire (excluding Telford & Wrekin).
Notes to Editors:
About Connecting Shropshire
Connecting Shropshire is the name given to the programme bringing fibre based broadband to areas where it isn’t economically viable for commercial companies to provide it. It is 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 and Wrekin) to access faster broadband by the end of spring 2016.
When added to BT’s commercial roll-out, 93 per cent of premises in the Shropshire Council area will have access to fibre based broadband by the end of spring 2016. All premises in the programme area will be provided with access to a basic level of broadband (a minimum of 2mbps).
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 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 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