Demand for high-speed fibre broadband soars with West Sussex Better Connected
Connections doubled in just 12 months
Henry Smith MP for Crawley visits local photography business
More people in West Sussex are signing-up for high-speed fibre broadband than ever before thanks to the work of the West Sussex Better Connected partnership.
West Sussex Better Connected – a multi-million pound partnership between West Sussex County Council and BT – has made fibre-optic broadband technology available to more than 65,000 homes and businesses across the county.
And figures announced today show the number of households and businesses using the faster connections in the West Sussex Better Connected area have more than doubled in the past year with 34 per cent now signed up to fibre broadband compared to 16 per cent just 12 months ago.
Henry Smith, MP for Crawley, visited photography firm Split Image at Manor Royal Business District in West Sussex, which is one of many firms in his constituency benefitting from superfast broadband.
He said: “Superfast broadband is the lifeblood of today’s economy and I’m delighted that Crawley enterprises like Split Image have embraced the opportunities made possible to boost the economy and employment both locally and nationally.”
Mark Curtis, managing director of Split Image, said: “Our broadband speeds have transformed the service we can now offer our clients. The superfast broadband helps us to maintain our reputation in that we never let a client down. It also means that we can now look forward to a future based at Manor Royal. I would recommend superfast fibre broadband to any small business looking to save money and secure their future growth. Superfast broadband is opening up new opportunities for us, both in terms of saving costs and future-proofing our business. We can now access inexpensive cloud-based telephone and video conferencing services specifically designed for small businesses.”
Stacey King, BT’s regional partnership director for the South East, said: “We are delighted the fibre broadband rollout in West Sussex is proving to be so popular. The West Sussex Better Connected team are doing a great job of raising awareness of the benefits of fibre broadband. The technology really does have the ability to transform the way people and businesses use the internet.”
Split Image is one of 500 companies based on the Manor Royal Business District, one of the UK’s largest business parks providing jobs for 30,000 people and represented by the UK’s largest “industrial” Business Improvement District (BID) – Manor Royal BID.
Steve Sawyer, executive director of the Manor Royal Business Improvement District, said: “For businesses to access fast broadband is essential, not just a ‘nice to have’ option. Achieving fast broadband for Manor Royal was a key objective of the Manor Royal BID. Not only has the successful delivery of this project helped retain and attract businesses here, it has been an excellent example of how the Manor Royal BID can work with a willing partner like BT, to achieve better outcomes.”
The Manor Royal BID worked with the Better Connected partnership to achieve its goal of delivering 100% fibre broadband coverage across the 540 acre site.A combination of direct investment by the BID and the West Sussex Better Connected initiative ensures that every business, new and existing, can benefit from this improvement.
Fibre broadband helps make everything happen online much faster than a standard broadband connection. The fibre to the cabinet technology offers download speeds of up to 80Mbps with some premises able to access speeds of up to 330Mbps with Fibre to the Premises.
All of the engineering work for the West Sussex Better Connected partnership 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.
The West Sussex Better Connected partnership is being funded by West Sussex Council investing £6.26m in the project, BT £7.6m and the government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme £6.76m.