Fibre broadband rollout in Derbyshire now more than three-quarters complete
Around 70,000 homes and businesses can access better, faster broadband for the first time now the multi-million Digital Derbyshire rollout is more than three-quarters complete.
The first phase of Derbyshire County Council’s partnership with BT will ultimately provide more than 88,000 premises with access to fibre-optic broadband.
According to Ofcom, average broadband speeds in Derbyshire are currently 23.4Mbps, up from 12.4Mbps just three years ago (2012).
Councillor Dean Collins, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure, said: “The internet plays such a big role in our daily lives, whether it’s at work or at home. So it’s great news that Digital Derbyshire has already provided access to better, faster broadband to around 70,000 homes and businesses across the county.
“We’re aiming to provide 95% of premises in Derbyshire with access to fibre broadband by the end of 2016 and I’d encourage anyone interested in upgrading their current broadband service to visit www.digitalderbyshire.org.uk/find and find out whether fibre is available in their area.”
It’s also being announced that even more homes and businesses are set to benefit from the Digital Derbyshire programme in a £7 million extension to make fibre broadband available in particularly hard-to-reach places.
The second phase of work builds on the original programme that is bringing better, faster broadband across much of the county by 2016.
The additional funding from central Government, BT and the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership will extend overall coverage to more than 100,000 premises by the end of 2018 and take the total investment for Digital Derbyshire to more than £34 million.
Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for next generation access, said: “Our work with the council in Derbyshire has already made fibre broadband available to tens of thousands of homes and businesses. Across the county, the way people use the internet is being transformed. We’re delighted that the council has chosen to work with BT to help extend that reach even further in the coming years.”
In recent months, fibre broadband has been made available in a number of communities including Bakewell, Darley Dale and Hope.
The overall Digital Derbyshire project, now bringing better, faster broadband to 100,000 homes and businesses, is being funded using £15.2 million from BT, £5 million from Derbyshire County Council, £9.7 million from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK funds, £2.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund and £2.2 million from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.
It builds on the private sector’s roll-out of fibre broadband; BT’s commercial roll-out in Derbyshire has already made high-speed fibre broadband available to around 360,000 homes and businesses.
The new network being delivered by Openreach, BT’s local network business, is ‘open’ meaning homes and businesses benefit from a choice of communications providers operating in a highly competitive market.
Businesses wanting to find out more about Digital Derbyshire should visit the new and revamped website at www.digitalderbyshire.org.uk.