Festive Fibre boost as Superfast Staffordshire achieves major 70,000 milestone

Superfast Staffordshire – the fibre broadband partnership led by Staffordshire County Council and BT – delivered some early Christmas cheer

Alrewas, Audley, Burton-on-Trent, Creswell, Fazeley, Flash, Heath Hayes, Perton and Wombourne are among latest communities to benefit;

Boost for online shoppers and businesses in run-up to Christmas

Superfast Staffordshire – the fibre broadband partnership led by Staffordshire County Council and BT – delivered some early Christmas cheer with news that it had now made the high-speed technology available to 70,000 homes and businesses across the county.

Alrewas, Audley, Burton-on-Trent, Creswell, Fazeley, Flash, Heath Hayes, Perton and Wombourne are among the latest communities to ‘go live’.

Councillor Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s economy leader, said: “We’re pleased to hit the 70,000 property mark as the Superfast Staffordshire programme roll-out continues at pace. It is a great way to finish the year knowing even more Staffordshire communities can now connect – making a real difference to their lives.

“In 2015, Superfast Staffordshire has enabled over 40,000 properties to access faster broadband speeds. The feedback we have received from those areas demonstrates why we invested in the project. Residents, businesses and schools have told us how their connection is broadening opportunities for them. We now look forward to completing the roll-out in 2016.”

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said: “Our project teams are working hard to make fibre broadband available to as many communities as possible, as quickly as possible. We’re particularly pleased to be making this technology more widely available at what is traditionally an extremely busy time for both local businesses and households.

“High-speed fibre broadband helps businesses share information with their suppliers and customers more easily, which is especially important at this time of the year when business deadlines can be particularly demanding.

“Local people wanting to combine shopping online and use of ‘click and collect’ services with browsing the web to see what local retailers have to offer will also notice the difference. Fibre broadband enables a household to use several different devices at the same time, so children can play online games or do their homework without affecting parents watching catch-up television, shopping or uploading photos.”

People can follow the progress of the roll-out via the Superfast Staffordshire website: www.superfaststaffordshire.co.uk and via Twitter @superfaststaffs and on Facebook.

Once an area has ‘gone live’, local people will be able to get download speeds of up to 80 megabits (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps*. Upgrades do not happen automatically - it’s an ‘opt in’ service, but because the Openreach network is ‘open’, residents and businesses wanting to upgrade have a choice of fibre broadband providers, with more than 140 companies now operating in the UK.

Note to Editors

* These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

Issued by Staffordshire County Council and BT.

For further information about this news release Tom Hobbins at the Staffordshire County Council press office on 01785 276832 or email: tom.hobbins@staffordshire.gov.uk

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

All BT news releases can be read at www.bt.com/newscentre

Photos of the roll-out of Superfast Staffordshire can be downloaded for free from: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk1eZqD3

About Superfast Staffordshire

Superfast Staffordshire is a partnership between Staffordshire County Council, BDUK and BT. It builds on the commercial roll-outs in the county.

The first phase of the Superfast Staffordshire roll-out programme represents an investment of more than £27 million (£7.44 million from Staffordshire County Council, £7.44m from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK and £12.47m from BT.)

Staffordshire County Council will receive an extra £2.4m from BT following higher than expected take up of fibre broadband. This will be modelled in due course.

The new deal injects further funding into the County Council’s contract with BT, with a further £1.68m coming from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) and £630,000 from BT.

For those premises not included in the fibre footprint, Superfast Staffordshire is aiming to improve broadband speeds using alternative technologies.

About Superfast Britain

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department for 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:

  1. £790m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017;
  2. £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities; and
  3. £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

    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 more than 170 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 principally of five customer-facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

    For the year ended 31 March 2015, BT Group’s reported revenue was £17,979mwith reported profit before taxation of £2,645m.

    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.