Fibre broadband lands 12 months early in Leicestershire village

Final community announced as part of #12cabsofxmas online campaign 

Homes and businesses in Diseworth can celebrate this Christmas with the announcement that high-speed fibre broadband will be available in the New Year – almost 12 months ahead of schedule.

Those living in the rural Leicestershire village, close to East Midlands Airport, will soon see their broadband speeds take off thanks to the Superfast Leicestershire partnership between Leicestershire County Council, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and BT.

A ’12 Cabinets of Christmas’ social media campaign using the hashtag #12cabsofxmas has in recent weeks announced the latest communities across Leicestershire to have access to fast fibre broadband including Woodhouse Eaves, Castle Donington and Whetstone.

The final community being announced this week is Diseworth, a village not originally included in the countywide programme. But thanks to a campaign by local residents, the village worked with the county council and BT to win additional funding from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme.

Fibre broadband was expected to be available throughout the village from late 2015, but similar work taking place recently in nearby Castle Donington meant the opportunity was available to upgrade Diseworth at the same time.

Mike Doyle, who helped set up Disewired, the village broadband group, said: “Co-founder Mik Griffin and I are delighted that superfast broadband will soon be available to Diseworth residents. It’s been a long journey but thanks to the commitment of Leicestershire County Council and BT we have achieved our aim. However, the most important people in this story are the residents. They threw themselves behind the aims of our campaign and participated enthusiastically as we made our case for access to superfast broadband.”

County council leader Nick Rushton, who represents Diseworth, said: “It’s great news that fibre broadband will soon be available in Diseworth – I’m encouraging residents and businesses to sign up and enjoy the benefits of this faster service.”

Kasam Hussain, BT’s project manager for Superfast Leicestershire, said: “We know how much fibre broadband means to a community like Diseworth and BT is delighted to be bringing this new technology to them earlier than originally thought possible. The village broadband group have supported us every step of the way and I’m sure the availability of fibre broadband packages from a variety of communication providers will make a big difference to village life.”

The #12cabsofxmas Twitter campaign was launched at the beginning of December with Superfast Leicestershire announcing a dozen areas throughout the month as and when superfast broadband became available.

Tweets sent out during the first couple of weeks of the campaign have been viewed more than 13,000 times. There have also been more than 7000 page views on the Superfast Leicestershire website.

The areas announced in recent weeks as being the latest to have access to superfast broadband are parts of Birstall, Bottesford, Broughton Astley (Sutton in the Elms), Countesthorpe, Diseworth, Great Glen, Loughborough, Markfield, Melton Mowbray, Scraptoft (near Thurnby), Whetstone, and Woodhouse Eaves.

Superfast Leicestershire is a £18.8 million partnership between Leicestershire County Council and BT to bring fibre broadband to more than 62,000 premises throughout the county.

Already, 80 new roadside fibre cabinets have been installed and more than 170 kms of fibre cable laid as part of the rollout.

Work is being carried by Openreach, BT’s local network business, and it aims to build on the private sector’s roll-out of fibre broadband; BT’s commercial rollout in Leicestershire has already made high-speed fibre broadband available to more than 293,000 homes and businesses.

The high-speed network is available on an open, wholesale basis to all internet service providers, offering Leicestershire households and businesses the benefit of real choice from a highly competitive market.

Benefits of fibre broadband include faster download and upload speeds; the ability to access the internet via multiple devices without experiencing a slow connection, faster downloads of films and music, a better online gaming experience, improved file sharing for businesses, solutions based on Cloud computing and being able to work more flexibly.

For more information about Superfast Leicestershire visit www.superfastleicestershire.org.uk

You can find out more about the village broadband group for Diseworth at www.disewired.com.


Notes for Editors

Superfast Leicestershire is a project that seeks to extend high-speed fibre broadband coverage beyond the existing commercial fibre broadband rollout of companies such as Openreach (a BT Group company) and Virgin Media to 96% of premises. We anticipate that 62,000 premises will be able to access fibre broadband.

The county council is investing £4.0m in this project. £1.1m has been allocated by the district and borough councils, with an additional £3.4m coming from the Government and £1.2m from the European Union. BT is also contributing £9.1m towards the overall cost of the Superfast Leicestershire project.

Many homes and businesses in the county may already have access to broadband. Superfast Leicestershire concentrates on the areas the commercial rollout is not able to reach. In addition to the commitment to extend superfast broadband coverage, Superfast Leicestershire aims to ensure all premises have access to at least 2Mbps.

The county council is keen to ensure that everyone within Leicestershire can benefit from this project as it helps to grow the economy over the coming years. The county council anticipates that this investment in superfast broadband could generate £92m of economic growth by 2021, and will work with local communities as well as help small businesses to adopt technologies and grow.