Demand for high-speed fibre broadband soars with Merseyside Connected

More people on Merseyside are signing up for high-speed fibre broadband than ever before thanks to the work of Merseyside Connected.

Merseyside Connected – a multi-million pound partnership between five local councils and BT – has made fibre-optic broadband technology available to nearly 60,000 homes and businesses across the county.

And figures announced today show the number of homes and businesses using the faster connections in the Merseyside Connected area more than tripled in the past year with 21 per cent now signed up to a fibre broadband package compared to six per cent just 12 months ago.

Councillor Gary Millar, Assistant Mayor and Mayoral lead for business and international trade at Liverpool City Council, the lead local authority on Merseyside Connected, said: “Fibre broadband is transforming the lives of people in Merseyside. So much we do these days relies on a fast internet connection whether we’re at home or at work.

“And demand for better, faster broadband in Merseyside is clear – in the past year three times more homes and businesses have signed-up to use the new technology installed as part of the Merseyside Connected programme. To check availability in your area visit www.merseysideconnected.org

Liverpool’s Mayoral lead for energy and smart cities, Councillor James Noakes, added: “I welcome the progress that has been made under the Merseyside Connected scheme, which has clearly benefited many people. We are absolutely determined to build on this work in order to maximize investment and business growth by continuing to explore options for further improving digital connectivity in Liverpool and across Merseyside.”

Some of the most recent areas to benefit from the fibre broadband rollout include parts of St Helens, Birkdale, Prescot and Allerton.

Mike Blackburn, BT’s regional director for the North West, said: “We are delighted the rollout in Merseyside is proving to be so popular. It’s great to see the benefits of all the hard work of the programme coming to life through the number of people who are now taking advantage of the high speeds. The technology really does have the ability to transform the way people and businesses use the internet.

“When combined with the commercial rollout, 98 per cent of Merseyside homes and businesses should be able to access fibre broadband by September 2016.”

Fibre broadband helps make everything happen online much faster than a standard broadband connection. The technology offers download speeds up to 80Mbps.

All of the engineering work as part of Merseyside Connected is being carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business. This means residents and businesses with access to fibre broadband can choose from a wide range of internet service providers and benefit from competitive pricing and products.

To find out if residents or businesses can upgrade to fibre broadband they need to speak to their service provider, they will not automatically be upgraded.


For further information

Contact Janet Hare in the BT North West Regional Press Office
Tel: Direct when phoning from the NW 0800 085 0660. If phoning from outside the NW ring 01244 316 417 Email: janet.hare@bt.com

All our news releases can be found at www.btplc.com/news

About Merseyside Connected
Merseyside Connected is the partnership programme established to help manage the public procurement and subsequent deployment of the infrastructure for superfast broadband across Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. The programme is led by Liverpool City Council as the accountable body responsible for the programme.
The project is working as part of the Government’s national BDUK programme, which is operating across the UK.

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.

With effect from 1 April 2016, the group has been reorganised and the customer-facing lines of business are now: 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 BDUK
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

The Merseyside Connected project is part financed by the 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.communities.gov.uk/erdf