First communities to benefit from multi-million pound Superfast Worcestershire are announced
• Ashton-under-Hill, Badsey, Broadway, Cropthorne, Hallow and Harvington and are among first communities to benefit;
• New website launched to help Worcestershire's businesses and residents to map progress;
• More than 700 kilometres of fibre optic cable and more than 300 new street-side cabinets will be deployed across Worcestershire.
Superfast Worcestershire, the partnership between Worcestershire County Council and BT, today (January 27, 2014) announced the first communities to get high-speed fibre
broadband as part of the £20 million programme.
Ashton-under-Hill, Badsey, Broadway, Cropthorne, Hallow and Harvington are among the first communities to benefit.
In addition, parts of the Malvern district, including a number of business premises on Enigma Business Park, will be able to access fibre as a result of the partnership rollout,
which will also extend the availability of high-speed broadband to some areas of Evesham and Worcester city centre not previously enabled by any commercial programme.
The Superfast Worcestershire partnership aims to ensure that fibre broadband is made available to more than 90 per cent of Worcestershire businesses and homes over the
next three years.
It builds on BT’s commercial fibre rollout, which will enable more than 176,000 premises across the county to access the technology by the end of this Spring.
The first phase of the Superfast Worcestershire deployment will follow between April and the end of September this year.
In total, nearly 55,000 businesses and homes are set to benefit from the partnership programme rollout, once it’s completed.
While the first people are connecting to the new Superfast Worcestershire network, surveying work will get underway in parts of Wychavon, Wyre Forest, Malvern Hills and the
areas of Bromsgrove where fibre is not already available. These surveys will determine which communities will be enabled during the second phase of Superfast Worcestershire
between October and December.
Today’s announcement coincided with the launch of the Superfast Worcestershire website, www.superfastworcestershire.com. This is where local people and businesses can find out more about the benefits of upgrading to faster fibre broadband and use the interactive maps and phone line checker to find out when and where the high-speed technology will be available. They can also, register their interest to be kept up to date on the local roll-out and order their faster broadband service from their chosen Internet Service Provider.
Superfast Worcestershire is a partnership between Worcestershire County Council, which has invested up to £8.5 million while BT which has invested £8.9 million. A further
£3.35 million is being invested by the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) arm of DCMS.
Councillor Simon, Geraghty, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure, said: “The fact that access to high-speed fibre will be available
to over 90 per cent of residents and businesses over the coming years is great news for Worcestershire.
“Superfast broadband is vital for the future success and competitiveness of our businesses and will boost our residents' experience online – helping them to do more and
more via the internet.
"For local businesses, the fibre network will help underpin the introduction of many new services and applications and will increase their opportunities for economic growth, a
vital component to keep the county open for business.
“We believe Superfast Worcestershire is the only programme of its kind in the UK to put an emphasis on reaching at least 90 per cent of the county's business premises –
recognising the County Council's Open for Business strategic priority.
“Local people will be able to use the new website to get updates on where high- speed broadband is available so they can upgrade to the faster network with their internet
Bill Murphy, BT Group’s managing director of next generation access, said: “Since the Superfast Worcestershire partnership was launched last summer, teams have been busy
planning and building the new network that will transform the way people across the county communicate, work, learn and enjoy their spare time.
“It’s a huge engineering project that will involve the laying of more than 700 kilometres of fibre optic cable across the county – equivalent to travelling from Bromsgrove
to Brussels and back again.
“We’re committed to connecting communities as quickly as possible whilst of course planning carefully to ensure we get the best value for money from the investment. Today
marks a major milestone for the partnership and the first communities to benefit. We look forward to announcing where the network will be going next when more surveys have been
Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, said: “This is fantastic news for homes and businesses in Worcestershire. The UK already does more business online than any other
European country and widespread access to superfast speeds will provide a welcome boost to the local economy.”
People in Worcestershire will be able to order an upgrade for their broadband connection from a wide range of internet service providers as the network is open to all
providers on an open, wholesale basis, thereby ensuring competitive prices.
Local people can visit the Superfast Worcestershire website at:www.superfastworcestershire.com , visit the Facebook page and join the conversation on
• Worcestershire County Council is contributing up to £8.5 million, with an additional £3.35 million coming from the from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds through the Superfast Britain initiative (please see below). BT is also contributing £8.9 million towards the overall cost of the Superfast Worcestershire deployment, having been chosen following an extensive and thorough selection process.
• Worcestershire County Council signed contracts with their preferred supplier BT on August 5, 2013. The partnership announced that high-speed fibre Broadband will be rolled out to more than 90 per cent of Worcestershire homes and businesses over 2014, 15 and beyond and that all remaining areas will receive broadband with a minimum speed of at least 2Mbps.
• Phase 1 of Superfast Worcestershire's programme is currently being surveyed and the areas outlined today for phase 1 are planned to be at the start of the programme with the network build commencing in April 2014 and connections being made during Summer 2014. The final detail for phase 1 will be known during the building phase and customers can order an upgraded Broadband service from Internet Service Providers whilst the phase is being built.
• Those who register on the Superfast Worcestershire website will need to enter a phone number and postcode to receive information and updates at a local level. Those who registered their demand will continue to be kept up to date on the programme and have the option of registering again to receive more local updates.
• 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