Double high-speed broadband boost for Worcestershire people

Extra £1.1 million will extend reach of Superfast Worcestershire; 

Nearly 2,000 more homes and businesses to have access to fibre broadband;
Digital Economy Minister welcomes news

Even more Worcestershire communities are set to benefit from the Superfast Worcestershire rollout of high-speed broadband, thanks to an additional £1.1 million cash injection, partners Worcestershire County Council and BT announced today.

The extra funding from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme will enable 1,300 more premises to get high-speed fibre broadband by June 2016.

The areas to benefit are likely to be in and around: Honeybourne and Pebworth, Ombersley, Doverdale and Holt, Welland, Castlemorton and Birtsmorton, Defford and Besford, and Abberley. Over the last two and half years, Worcestershire County Council has worked closely with these five rural communities to successfully make the case for high speed broadband and secure this additional funding.

In addition to this new funding the county received a second boost with BT taking on all the costs of upgrading a number of homes and businesses previously earmarked for public funding investment through Superfast Worcestershire freeing up the cash to enable the partnership to extend coverage to a further 650 premises for completion within the original programme timescale by June 2016.

Cllr Simon Geraghty, Cabinet Member for Skills, Economy and Infrastructure, said: "I am so pleased to be able to confirm this additional funding for Worcestershire which will enable next generation fibre broadband to reach further rural areas. Our county-wide scheme is well underway and rollout has already achieved a greater number of cabinet upgrades than had been expected. This further funding will help us to extend that reach into even more rural areas."

Digital Economy Minister, Ed Vaizey, said: “This is fantastic news for Worcestershire. Not only is the project ahead of schedule, but the extra £1.1million that Government is providing will see even more businesses and homes in the county benefit from access to superfast broadband speeds.”

Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for broadband partnerships, said: “The rollout of fibre optic broadband is a huge and complex engineering process, with the work progressing extremely well. At every stage, careful planning is undertaken to ensure the most cost-effective use of the funds available and it is great news that we are able extend our fibre coverage to benefit even more people across Worcestershire.”

Residents can find out if their area will get superfast broadband by visiting the Superfast Worcestershire website: www.superfastworcestershire.com and checking the postcode finder or looking at the updated county map. The website also has lots of useful information about the wide-ranging benefits of high-speed broadband. People can also sign up to be notified of when upgrades are due to take place in their area. It also includes details on how residents can upgrade to the improved service once it’s available.

Notes to editors:

About Superfast Worcestershire

Superfast Worcestershire is a partnership between Worcestershire County Council, BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme. Worcestershire County Council is contributing up to £8.5 million, with an additional £8.9 million from BT and a further £3.35million from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds through the Superfast Britain initiative (please see below). This latest funding is additional to that already being invested by BDUK.

Press Office Contacts
For more information please contact Worcestershire County Council please email:
commsunit@worcestershire.gov.uk or telephone: 01905 822058. For information about BT please contact the regional press office on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.com

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