08
July
2016
|
19:02
Europe/Amsterdam

Jeremy Wright MP hails major milestone as roll-out of fibre broadband reaches more remote Warwickshire communities

Summary
Fibre is feather in the cap for Willoughby as village broadband cabinet is the 300th to go ‘live’ as part of the CSW Broadband roll-out led by Warwickshire County Council and BT; Village businesses welcome high-speed fibre broadband boost.

Jeremy Wright QC MP joined villagers in Willoughby, near Rugby, to mark a major milestone for the multi-million pound CSW Broadband project.

The partnership – led by Warwickshire County Council and BT – today switched on its 300th fibre broadband cabinet in the village.

The Rt Hon Jeremy Wright QC – the Attorney General and MP for Kenilworth and Southam – met representatives of the CSW Broadband partnership, residents and alpacas from a new start-up business, Willoughby Alpacas, whose fur is, coincidentally, known as ‘fibre’.

Around 185 premises in the village are served by the new fibre cabinet. Households and businesses opting for an upgrade will be able to access broadband download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (Mbps) and uploads of up to 20Mbps*.

More than 51,400 homes and businesses are now able to access faster fibre broadband as a result of the CSW Broadband project, which started connecting the first premises just over two years ago, as part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

Jeremy Wright QC MP said: “The Government has a target to achieve 95 per cent superfast coverage of the UK by 2017. CSW Broadband has an ambition to achieve 98 per cent coverage by 2018, and this cabinet is another step towards those targets. Residents and businesses in Willoughby can now join the information superhighway and work is underway to improve connectivity across the Leam Valley area.”

The arrival of faster fibre broadband has been welcomed as a boost for village firms.

Dr Jeremy Stocker, who owns Willoughby Alpacas, a new start-up business, said: “Access to fast broadband will allow us to set up a website for growing alpaca business, selling high-quality, halter-trained pet alpacas and offering stud services to owners of female animals.”

Rudi Prymaka, landlord of The Rose Inn, said: “As we live in the pub it will be great for us to be able to stream TV and films so we can watch them at a time to suit us. We currently provide wi-fi for our customers, but it is slow and unreliable. Being able to access faster and more reliable broadband will enable us to offer a much improved service.”

Councillor Alan Cockburn, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Finance and Property at Warwickshire County Council, said: “It’s great news that the CSW Broadband project has reached the 300th cabinet – this is quite a milestone and means that throughout Warwickshire and Solihull many communities are now enjoying superfast broadband speeds.

“This particular location was announced only a couple of weeks ago and, due to the complexity of the work, the programme normally anticipates several months to upgrade each cabinet. However, the teams are accelerating the programme, wherever possible, and today we have the evidence of that.”

Ian Binks, BT’s Regional Manager for Warwickshire and the West Midlands, said: “Every day we’re seeing how fibre broadband technology is benefitting households and businesses in new and exciting ways, which is why we are working hard to make it available to more Warwickshire communities as quickly as possible.”

Richard Jackson, a local ‘broadband champion’, welcomed the arrival of faster fibre broadband in Willoughby and the new opportunities it brought for people opting for an upgrade.

He said: “The availability of superfast broadband is a major step forward for our village. Some villagers will now be able to get better balance to their lives, being able to work from home effectively, or keep in touch with family and friends. Others will be able to boost their businesses, taking advantage of fast reliable communications to utilise internet conferencing and cloud-based services.”

Warwickshire County Councillor, Philip Johnson, Chair of the Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said: “Superfast broadband is absolutely fundamental in this day and age. Whether it’s for work, leisure or learning, we all expect to be able to access the internet, and the CSW Broadband project is making that a reality for so many of our communities.”

Local people can get more information from the CSW Broadband website – www.cswbroadband.org.uk – and via Twitter and Facebook.

Upgrading to fibre broadband does not happen automatically. It’s an ‘opt in’ service, but because the network is being installed by Openreach it is ‘open’, so residents and businesses wanting to upgrade have a wide choice of fibre broadband service providers.

The benefits of using fibre broadband are wide-ranging. It enables people to connect a number of devices to the internet at the same time, without experiencing buffering. Sharing and downloading large files and information is also much easier and faster.

Note to Editors

The CSW Broadband roll-out is using a mixture of technologies. These include Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP), which provides speeds up to 330Mbps and upload speeds of up to 30Mbps; and Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC), which provides download speeds of up to 80Mbps and download speeds of up to 20Mbps. In addition there are some premises that are currently connected directly to the telephone exchange rather than via a green roadside cabinet, sometimes known as Exchange Only (EO) lines. In order to connect EO lines, further roadside cabinets have to be installed.

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

About CSW Broadband

The expansion of the CSW Broadband roll-out is known as Contract 2, Part 1, and was announced in February 2015. The deal was spearheaded by Warwickshire County Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, which are contributing an initial £3.68 million and £0.38 million respectively, with an additional £2.61m from BT and a further £4.06m from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Superfast Extension Programme (SEP).

When complete, it will increase the percentage of homes and businesses able to access high-speed fibre broadband in Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire to nearly 94 per cent when combined with the first phase of the CSW Broadband roll-out already underway and the private sector investments of companies like BT.

The first part of the CSW Broadband roll-out is known as Contract 1.

As the property-level mapping is still in development, the CSW Broadband team is asking people to check the map at www.cswbroadband.org.uk and to report any discrepancies by using the simple online form.

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

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Issued by Warwickshire County Council and BT on behalf of the CSW Broadband partnership.

For more information please contact Leigh Hunt at the CSW Broadband project office on 01926 738339 or email: broadband@cswbroadband.org.uk

Or

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

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: Global Services, Business and Public Sector, Consumer, EE, 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