04
February
2014
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00:00
Europe/Amsterdam

Full speed ahead! Northern Lincs broadband picks up the pace

Northernlincs Broadband today announced that work has begun on the first phase of its expansion of high-speed fibre broadband, which is expected to help create jobs and boost connectivity across North and North East Lincolnshire.

Thousands of homes and businesses in 13 exchange areas are to be included in the first phase of the Northernlincs Broadband multi million pound programme which is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 

In Winterton, Humberston, Waltham, Epworth, Saxby All Saints and Cleethorpes, fibre broadband on the BT network will reach communities for the first time. There will also be a substantial investment to make fibre more widely available in Brigg, Scunthorpe, Barton-upon-Humber, Messingham, Grimsby, Healing and Scartho which are already included or planned as part of BT’s commercial roll-out of the high-speed technology. 
Engineering work to lay the new network is now under way in some of these areas with communities included in phase one of the roll-out to be upgraded by the end of September. 

Cllr Neil Poole, cabinet member for Policy and Resources at North Lincolnshire Council, said: “The superfast broadband project is well under way and soon many more areas across Northern Lincolnshire will be able to reap the benefits of high-speed broadband. 

“There are unlimited advantages for businesses and homes to using broadband. And the Northernlincs Broadband team have been working hard to ensure businesses are aware of these through the free business support programme. We recognise that all businesses are different and will use the internet in different ways, which is why the support we provide is tailor made to the individual business. 

“It is essential that North Lincolnshire moves into the digital age; ensuring we are well-known as a place to invest and do business. We want to provide as many opportunities as we can for businesses and support the creation of jobs in our area - the broadband project will greatly help with this.” 

In June last year North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire Councils joined forces with BT forming the Northernlincs Broadband programme. The multi-million pound deal originally pledged to bring fibre broadband to 89 per cent of homes and businesses but the Northernlincs Broadband team were confident they could secure additional funding and expand the coverage of fibre even further. 

As a result, a further £500,000 of Government funding from BDUK and £562,000 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has been secured, which together with an additional £150,000 by North Lincolnshire Council boosts the total investment in the project to £9.6 million and will take coverage to 92 per cent. This also includes a total £4.2 million investment from BT. 

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said: “Planning a project of this scale, to get the very best value for money and maximum coverage, is a phenomenal task. BT and the Northernlincs Broadband team have worked very hard to get to this point. 

“This announcement however is just a first step. A team of specialised fibre engineers will now work to extend and build a fibre network which will bring a better quality of life for residents and provide a major economic boost by attracting more jobs and businesses to Northern Lincolnshire.” 

The Northernlincs Broadband programme will build on BT’s commercial investment of £2.5 billion to roll-out fibre broadband to two-thirds of UK premises. This investment has already provided fibre broadband connectivity in Brigg and Scunthorpe with Grimsby, Scartho, Healing and Barton-upon-Humber set to follow by the end of Spring 2014. 

The investment in fibre broadband will boost the local economy and help to create or protect local jobs. It will be of particular benefit to local businesses which can use the faster speeds to improve their competitiveness both within the UK and abroad. 

BT’s network will be open to all communications providers on an equal wholesale basis and so consumers and businesses in North and North East Lincolnshire will benefit from a highly competitive market. 
Fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) will be the main technology deployed which delivers wholesale downstream speeds of up to 80Mbps and upstream speeds of up to 20Mbps.2 

Openreach has also started to make fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, where the fibre runs all the way to the home or business, commercially available on demand in certain areas where fibre broadband has been deployed, and plans to expand access in due course. FTTP-on-demand offers the top current download speed of up to 330Mbps.3 

Northernlincs Broadband has developed a free programme of business support to help eligible small businesses to save time, money and improve efficiency. The programme of dedicated IT specialists and business advisors provides tailored support geared towards maximising the benefits of improved connectivity. 

For up to date information on available business support and the roll-out visit 
www.investinnorthlincs.co.uk or www.northlincs.gov.uk. 

Ends 

1 BT was awarded the contract following a procurement exercise through the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) framework. The original deal was made up of £3.3 million from BT, £2.64 million from BDUK with the remaining £1.557 million coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 

The NorthernLincolnshire Broadband Programme is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf 

2These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary. 

3Openreach will levy an installation charge for FTTP on demand. It will be up to service providers to decide whether they pass that on to businesses or consumers wishing to use the product. 


Notes to Editors: 
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 


About Northern Lincs Broadband 
The Northern Lincs Broadband Programme is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information, visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf.