Matt Warman MP finds out more about fibre broadband rollout in Lincolnshire
(photo L-R: Paul Bimson -BT's regional partnership director for the East Midlands, Matt Warman MP, and Openreach Engineer Phil Bradley)
Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman has been finding out more about the technology being used to bring fibre broadband to thousands of properties in his constituency.
The MP visited one of the new Onlincolnshire fibre broadband cabinets, on St Thomas Drive in Boston, to find out for himself how fibre broadband works and why it’s making such a difference to everyday life.
The MP said: “The single biggest issue that people get in touch with me about is broadband. Across Boston and Skegness the roll-out of super-fast services is ahead of schedule and under budget but I know that for thousands of constituents it can't come soon enough.
“Meeting BT's executives and engineers locally was a really useful opportunity to learn a bit more about the challenges, and also to hear about bringing the latest services to Lincolnshire. I will continue to do everything I can to ensure that no part of the constituency, however rural, is left behind.”
Onlincolnshire is a partnership between Lincolnshire councils, BT and the Government that has already made fibre broadband available to more than 142,500 homes and businesses.
The roadside fibre broadband cabinet on St Thomas Drive is one of 720 installed across Lincolnshire since the broadband programme got underway. They are connected to the network by more than 500 kilometres of underground cable.
In the Boston and Skegness constituency, more than 17,000 premises now have access to fibre broadband, thanks to the Onlincolnshire partnership. Around one in five premises across the county have already signed up to a fibre package.
Paul Bimson, BT’s regional partnership director for the East Midlands, said: “A great deal of work is taking place across Lincolnshire to make fibre broadband available to as many people as possible. It’s making a real difference as well with many communities and businesses now able to access a whole range of new services thanks to faster download and upload speeds. There’s still more to do but we’re progressing really well.”
High-speed fibre broadband boosts the competitiveness of local firms and offers new ways of flexible working, entertainment and learning opportunities for local residents.
Cllr Richard Davies, executive member for IT at Lincolnshire County Council, added: "We're now bringing faster broadband to more than 1,000 Lincolnshire properties a week, which is a fantastic achievement. And we're starting to see a real increase in people signing up for superfast services. You can find out if you're in a superfast area on our website – www.onlincolnshire.org. Then you simply need to contact your internet service provider and upgrade your package and you too can enjoy all that superfast speeds have to offer."
At home, fibre broadband enables a family to simultaneously download a movie, watch a TV replay service, surf the internet and play games online all at the same time. A whole album can be downloaded in less than 30 seconds and a typical feature length HD movie in less than 10 minutes, whilst high-resolution photos can be uploaded in seconds.
The original Onlincolnshire partnership between local councils and BT is on target to extend superfast broadband coverage to 89 per cent of Lincolnshire by the end of April 2016. Further good news was announced recently with a second phase of work, extending coverage up to 95 per cent by the end of 2017.
The improvements have been made possible thanks to funding from Lincolnshire councils, BT, the Government and European Regional Development Fund.