First 15,000 homes and businesses get access to fibre broadband from Superfast Surrey project

Nineteen communities are the first to benefit from multi million pound partnership 

Superfast Surrey, a partnership between Surrey County Council and BT, has announced the successful delivery of the first phase of its roll-out programme. An additional 15,000 homes and businesses in 19 Surrey towns and villages are now able to place an order for high-speed fibre broadband. 

The investment has taken place in parts of Bagshot, Betchworth, Bookham, Bramley, Brookwood, Chobham, Cranleigh, Deepcut, Dorking, Elstead, Godalming, Godstone, Guildford, Merstham, Nutfield Ridge, Oakwood Hill, Oxted, Redhill and Woking*. 

Superfast Surrey builds on BT’s own commercial roll-out of fibre broadband in the county, which has already made the technology available to more than 331,000 Surrey homes and businesses. The partnership aims to bring fibre broadband to nearly 100 per cent of the county’s homes and businesses in the more rural, difficult to reach areas by the end of 2014. Superfast Surrey’s ‘programme area’ will provide fibre access to an additional 84,000 premises, which fall outside the private sector’s commercial plans. 

Peter Martin, Surrey County Council’s Deputy Leader, said: “This is great news and means we remain firmly on course to make Surrey the UK’s best connected county. Now we’ll press ahead with the next stage of our programme to ensure almost 100 per cent high-speed internet access by next year. 

“The benefits are huge, with a boost of around £30 million to the economy annually from helping firms trade online. It is also vital for all Surrey communities to have fast, reliable internet access so they don’t get left behind.” 

Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT Group, said: “Today’s announcement is another important milestone for a partnership which is making rapid progress. Working with our partners, we are able to bring this exciting technology to locations where the economics and engineering challenges are that much greater. High-speed fibre is increasingly important if local households and businesses are to make the most of the huge range of opportunities offered by the internet, whether they are seeking to start a new business, find new customers, undertake on-line training or simply wishing to browse for entertainment or leisure purposes.” 

Engineers for Openreach, BT’s local network business, are building the new fibre infrastructure. Fibre to the Cabinet will be the main technology deployed. This can deliver wholesale downstream speeds of up to 80Mbps, and upstream speeds of up to 20Mbps. Fibre to the Premises technology – delivering ultra-fast wholesale speeds of up to 330Mbps – will also be deployed in certain areas and will be available on demand throughout the whole of the fibre footprint should local businesses want the ultra-fast speeds it offers. ** 

The new fibre-based network is open to all broadband service providers on an equal basis. Households and businesses in Surrey will therefore benefit from a highly competitive market, bringing greater choice and affordable prices from a wide range of service providers. 

The technology will boost the competitiveness of local businesses, helping them to find new customers and operate more efficiently, whilst opening up a host of new learning and development opportunities for households. 

People using fibre broadband are able to use multiple bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time and send and receive large amounts of data much more quickly and efficiently. New fibre services are set to transform the way households use the internet, from the simple sharing of pictures and video and on-line training and research to enjoying the growing boom in entertainment services available on-line. 

For local businesses, the fibre network will underpin the introduction of many new services and applications. Big business applications driven by new ‘cloud’ services will be within the reach of enterprises of all sizes. Computer back up, storage and processing will be faster, and the use of high-quality videoconferencing will become viable. 
Among the businesses already using fibre broadband is a firm called VinTEAge Ltd, which provides vintage crockery, cutlery and decor for hire. The company was established in June 2013, and is based in Epsom, Surrey. 

Amy Leeson, owner of VinTEAge Ltd, said: “Using superfast broadband helps me get things done quickly and efficiently, which is essential for my business. I no longer have to wait for websites to load or suffer from loss of connectivity when communicating with my customers or suppliers. Having high-speed broadband has improved my productivity and most importantly my customers’ experience. The whole online process is now enjoyable and stress free. As a small local business I am now able to provide an enhanced level of service and reach a much wider customer base.” 


Notes to editors: 
*This investment is increasing the availability of fibre broadband in Bagshot, Guildford, Redhill, Woking, Godalming, Dorking, Brookwood, Cranleigh and Merstham, parts of which are already included in BT’s commercial plans. The other locations have not previously had fibre broadband. 

**80Mbps and 330Mbps are wholesale speeds. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may use different speeds in their advertising. Individual line speeds will depend on network infrastructure and the service chosen by the ISP. 

Openreach has started to make FTTP on demand available in its fibre footprint. Openreach will levy an installation charge but it will be up to service providers to decide whether they pass that onto businesses or consumers wishing to take advantage of the product. 

About Superfast Surrey 
Superfast Surrey is a pioneering two year programme that will give consistant reliable broadband access to everyone outside of the commercially served areas within the county, making it one of the best connected places in the world. 

Funded by the Surrey County Council, BT and BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK), and managed by a joint Programme team, Superfast Surrey is building a brand new fibre broadband network; it is a ‘Big Build’ that promises big wins. 

Fibre broadband will change the way we use the internet, opening up new opportunities for businesses, communities and individuals. It will broaden horizons for everyone, unlocking the full potential of the internet so we can all achieve more. 

Whether you’re looking to work from home, get access for your business or get reliable consistent access to the internet to ensure you can access the wide range services on online; superfast broadband could be for you. 

About Superfast Britain 

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% 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