First town to benefit from superfast broadband deal

Bradley Stoke was today announced as the first South Gloucestershire town to benefit from a multi-million pound superfast broadband partnership between South Gloucestershire Council, Wiltshire Council, and BT. 

Eight other communities were also named. They are Barrs Court, Lower Almondsbury, Olveston, Rudgeway, Thornbury town centre, Tockington, Tormarton and Warmley. The first homes and businesses in these towns and villages will be able to order fibre broadband services by Summer 2014. 

By the end of March 2015, 94 per cent of premises in South Gloucestershire will have access to superfast speeds of 24Mbps and above*. 

The £35.6 million project, which is also funded by the UK Government’s Superfast Britain programme, is rolling out fibre broadband to more challenging areas that fall outside the private sector’s commercial plans. 
Councillor John Goddard, chair of South Gloucestershire Council’s Resources Sub-Committee, said: “We recognise that high speed internet connections are vital for South Gloucestershire’s economic future, and for promoting business growth and encouraging inward investment, which is why we are delighted to announce that Bradley Stoke is our first town to benefit from the roll out of superfast broadband under this partnership. Today’s announcement marks a major achievement for this large and complex project. 

“Bradley Stoke is our largest area to date to benefit from the roll out of superfast broadband, with the first homes and businesses able to order the latest technology by next Summer. Thornbury town centre will also be covered under this announcement, along with some of our more rural locations including Rudgeway, Tockington and Tormarton.” 

Fibre broadband is not currently available in most of Bradley Stoke, Lower Almondsbury, Olveston, Rudgeway, Tockington and Tormarton. The majority of premises in Barrs Court, Thornbury and Warmley already have access to the technology through BT’s commercial roll-out and this project helps to fill in the gaps. It is also designed to ensure that all premises within the project area will have access to a minimum speed of 2Mbps by March 2016. 

The nine latest locations join Pucklechurch and Wick which were announced earlier this year as the first communities to be included in the partnership’s roll-out plans. The project is on track to enable more than 5,000 homes and businesses in South Gloucestershire to connect to fibre broadband by June 2014. 

Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation networks for BT Group, said: “This 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.” 

The project aims to lay nearly 100 kilometres of fibre cabling and install more than 50 new street cabinets. More information on the project can be found at www.southglos.gov.uk/broadband . 


For further information and interviews 
Cllr John Goddard is available for media interviews. Please contact Strategic Communications on 01454 863200. 

Michael Dunn, BT’s South West regional manager, is also available for media interviews. Please contact the BT regional press office on 0800 085 0660 (chris.orum@bt.com). All BT news releases can be read at www.bt.com/newscentre 

Notes to editors 
*This builds on BT’s existing commercial roll out, which will make the high-speed technology available to about 89,000 homes and businesses in South Gloucestershire by the end of Spring 2014. 

About BT 
BT 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 and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach. 

For the year ended 31 March 2013, BT Group’s reported revenue was £18,103mwith reported profit before taxation of £2,315m. 

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. 

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