02
September
2016
|
13:51
Europe/Amsterdam

High-speed fibre broadband is the toast of South Oxfordshire village

Summary
Landlord of historic pub is ‘over the moon’ with new technology; Cuxham is first community in South Oxfordshire District to benefit from second phase of Better Broadband for Oxfordshire roll-out; John Howell MP welcomes progress.

New fibre broadband technology is the toast of Cuxham. The tiny, picturesque village, near Watlington, has become the first community in the South Oxfordshire district to benefit from the second phase of the multi-million pound Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme.

The roll-out, which is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, is led by Oxfordshire County Council and BT, supported by South Oxfordshire District and OxLEP (Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership).

Cuxham residents, businesses and community groups were today (Friday) joined by John Howell, MP for the Henley constituency, to celebrate the village getting access to faster fibre broadband for the first time.

John Howell MP said: “The provision of faster broadband connections is a key issue in our communities. I am regularly contacted by constituents frustrated at the speeds they can access - including residents of Cuxham. Broadband is important for everyday living; for education, for banking; for access to Government Departments and much more. I am delighted that Cuxham is now benefitting in this second phase of the roll-out and look forward to seeing many more communities connected.”

It was a case of out with the old and in with the new for Vaska Battley, owner of the village’s sixteenth century Half Moon pub, one of the first customers to opt for an upgrade.

Vaska said: “My customers expect to be able to access the internet when they come in for a meal or drinks. Since we upgraded to high-speed fibre broadband we’ve noticed a huge difference - now it doesn’t matter how many people want to go online at the same time because the new fibre broadband service is stronger and more reliable.”

Around 75 homes and businesses in Cuxham are now able to access high-speed fibre broadband as a result of the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme.

Councillor Nick Carter, Oxfordshire County Council's cabinet member for Local Government, Business & Customer Services said: “This is yet another step forward for high quality broadband in Oxfordshire. I’m sure residents and businesses in Cuxham will welcome these positive changes in the same way that others elsewhere in the county already have.

“The Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme has significant further coverage planned in this location over the next twelve months including additional work in Brightwell Baldwin and Brightwell Upperton currently served from this new Cuxham cabinet. Meanwhile Britwell Salome and Christmas Common to the south east have also just been enabled, initiating a sequence of further coverage for Pyrton, Northend, Pishill, Russells Water and a number of rural villages in the area.”

Since the roll-out began more than two years ago, Better Broadband for Oxfordshire has made superfast fibre broadband available to 67,500 county premises.

Paul Bimson, BT’s regional partnership director, said: “More than 275,000 households and businessesacross Oxfordshire are now able to access faster fibre broadband as a result of BT’s own investment and the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire roll-out. Increasingly, we’re seeing how fibre broadband is changing people’s lives for the better, which is why we’re working hard to reach more remote areas of the county, as quickly as possible.

“Whether people are working from home, using the internet for leisure or learning, or simply wanting to get online whilst relaxing at their local pub, like here in Cuxham, everything is easier, faster and better with fibre broadband.”

Residents and businesses choosing to upgrade will be able to get download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (80Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps*. Because the Openreach network is ‘open,’ local people can choose from a wide range of fibre broadband providers.

Residents and businesses can follow the progress of the roll-out via the project website: http://www.betterbroadbandoxfordshire.org.uk

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Notes to Editors

* These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach, BT’s local network business, to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

About Better Broadband for Oxfordshire

Better Broadband for Oxfordshire is a partnership between Oxfordshire County Council, BT and BDUK.

The first phase of the programme was comprised of £25 million of funding: £10m from Oxfordshire County Council, £4m from the Government (Broadband Delivery UK) and £11m from BT. Engineering work on this phase began in August 2013 with the first homes and businesses going live in December 2013.

Further funding of £5.1 million to roll out fibre broadband was announced in February 2015 and construction work began earlier this year. Funding was made up of £1 million from South Oxfordshire District Council, £500,000 from Cherwell District Council, £250,000 from the Vale of the White Horse District Council, £200,000 from Oxfordshire County Council, £1.2m from BT, and a further £1.95m from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Superfast Extension Programme (SEP).

Additional funding of £5.58 million was announced in November 2015. This will increase the percentage of county homes and businesses able to get superfast fibre broadband to more than 95 per cent when combined with earlier phases of the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme and the private sector’s commercial roll-out of the technology. This funding comprises: £2 million from the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP); £120,000 from the South East Midlands LEP and Cherwell District Council; £168,000 from Oxford City Council; £2.2 million from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme and £1.1 million from BT. When combined the additional funding adds a further 12,000 premises to the programme.

For further details to go: www.betterbroadbandoxfordshire.org.uk

Better Broadband for Oxfordshire has now completed its planned work in West Oxfordshire. Further roll-out is being carried out here by Cotswold Broadband, which is separate from Better Broadband for Oxfordshire.

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Issued by Oxfordshire County Council and BT on behalf of the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire partnership.

Press contacts:

For more information please contact Emily Reed at Oxfordshire County Council on 01865 323 870 or email:emily.reed@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Twitter: @OxfordshireCC

Or

Emma Tennant at the BT regional press office on 0800 085 0660, email: emma.tennant@bt.com

Twitter: @EmmaTennantBT

All BT news releases are available at: http://www.btplc.com/News

About Superfast Britain

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department for 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:

  1. £790m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017;
  2. £150m to provide high-speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities; and
  3. £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 BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 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, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services.BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m.

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.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com