Manchester’s get digital faster programme arrives in Stockport!

A multi-million pound partnership which will make superfast fibre broadband available to thousands more businesses and homes in Greater Manchester reached another milestone today. 

Stockport has become one of the first locations to benefit from the £15 million Get Digital Faster partnership. About 200 Stockport homes and businesses, served by four new green fibre broadband street cabinets, now have access to the high-speed technology. And another three cabinets, serving a further 150 premises, will ‘go live’ in the next few weeks. It means that more than 650 Greater Manchester premises will soon have access to fibre broadband as a result of the partnership – just a month after its launch when the first new fibre cabinet went live in Oldham. .

The partnership is being delivered by Transport for Greater Manchester and BT on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). The partnership will use public and private sector funds to bring high-speed broadband to 45,000 homes and businesses by March 2016 in areas outside of commercial roll-out plans. The European Development Fund North West has provided £4.9 million, BT has provided £4.6 million, and £3 million is from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK). The local authorities (Stockport, Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Trafford, Rochdale, Tameside and Wigan) have invested £2.5 million between them.

The Get Digital Faster programme builds on the work of the private sector, which has already made high-speed fibre broadband available to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in Greater Manchester.

This news comes as the Government today announced that more than 1 million UK homes and businesses now have access to superfast broadband as a result of the Broadband Delivery UK rollout. Up to 40,000 premises nationally are now gaining access every week and the programme will extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017.

Councillor Sue Derbyshire, Leader of Stockport Council, lead local authority for the project, said: “On the day the Government announces a major milestone across the BDUK projects nationally, I’m delighted to be able to announce Stockport is set for high-speed fibre broadband under the Get Digital Faster programme.

“The project is still very new – it launched in July with the first cabinet going live in Oldham, so already we are taking significant steps towards making Greater Manchester one of the world’s top 20 digital cities by 2020.”
Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: “More than a million homes and businesses have now benefitted as a result of Government’s investment in superfast broadband.

“It is totally transforming the way we live and work. You can download feature length films faster, chatting online with family and friends around the world using VOIP is more reliable and households can go online simultaneously without the connection slowing down or dropping out.

“For businesses, superfast speeds are boosting profits through increased sales, reduced overheads and accessing markets abroad for the first time.”

Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT, said: “The roll-out of fibre broadband is a major, multi-million pound vote of confidence in the future of Greater Manchester, and we’re really pleased that rollout is well under way following the launch in July. The network which is being created now will have a lasting benefit for many years to come.

“The success of Get Digital Faster shows the power of partnerships. By working together, the public and private sectors are able to overcome many of the technical and commercial challenges and make fibre broadband much more widely available.”

For local businesses, the new fibre network underpins the introduction of many new services and applications. Big business applications driven by new ‘cloud’ services will be within reach of enterprises of all sizes. Computer back up, storage and processing will be faster, and the use of high-quality videoconferencing becomes viable.

Further benefits of faster broadband include users being able to use multiple bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time and send and receive large amounts of data much more quickly and efficiently. It means that on-line gaming, watching BBC iPlayer or downloading films and music becomes much quicker and without annoying ‘buffering’ or screen freeze.

Engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network business, are building the new fibre network. Fibre to the cabinet is the main technology deployed. It can deliver downstream speeds of up to 80Mbps and upstream speeds of up to 20 Mbps*.

The new network is available to all broadband service providers on an equivalent basis so Manchester households and businesses will be able to benefit from highly competitive products and pricing from more than 140 communications providers. Once fibre is available, people can choose from a number of different broadband providers, ensuring competitive prices and products.


Notes to Editors:

For more information go to the programme website www.get-digital.info
* These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

For photos of the BDUK fibre deployment, please go here; https://www.flickr.com/photos/107803477@N08/sets/

For more details of fibre rollout plans across the UK go here; www.bt.com/furtherwithfibre

The Get Digital Faster project is part financed by the North West 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


About BDUK
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