More than 40,000 homes and businesses now able to connect to fibre broaband as superfast Worcestershire reaches out to more parts of the County
Harriett Baldwin MP hails progress of ambitious roll-out;
Superfast Worcestershire's extension programme will be delivered nine months earlier than originally planned
Harriett Baldwin MP has been seeing first-hand how the roll-out of faster fibre broadband by the Superfast Worcestershire partnership is making a positive impact on residents and businesses in some of the more rural parts of the county.
Her visit to Kempsey coincided with news that more than 40,000 premises are now able to access faster fibre broadband as a result of the Superfast Worcestershire programme. The figure will increase to around 60,000 by June 2016 which will mark the end of the first phase of the roll-out.
And there was more good news for local people as Worcestershire County Council and BT, the lead partners in the Superfast Worcestershire programme, announced today that the ‘Superfast Extension Programme’ – the second phase of the fibre roll-out – will be delivered nine months ahead of schedule..
This will see a further 8,000 homes and businesses having access to faster fibre broadband during the Summer of 2016 and early Autumn 2017.
Harriett Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire, said: “It is good to see Superfast Worcestershire extending the reach of fibre connections to more and more communities.
“I expect that Kempsey residents and businesses will welcome the arrival of superfast connectivity and I encourage as many people as possible to take advantage of this service. This will allow the county to re-invest in connecting more and more cabinets.
"At a national level, the Government has set out an ambition to have every home in the county connected to a superfast connection in the next five years. I will continue to campaign until every home and business gets access to this vital service."
Cllr Simon Geraghty, Worcestershire County Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills & Infrastructure, said: "This is great news. Being able to deliver this programme a full nine months ahead of schedule means more homes and businesses will be able to access improved broadband speeds more quickly.We will also have early opportunity to release funds and reinvestment to extend coverage even further. It's great to see the difference faster broadband speeds can make to a local community like Kempsey.
Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said: “Fibre broadband is providing a major boost for households and businesses across Worcestershire and the UK as a whole. Thanks to a combination of factors - the excellent progress of the Superfast Worcestershire roll-out to date, as well as the great partnership working between the council and BT programme teams - we’ll be able to start and finish connecting the 8,000 premises in the second phase of the programme much earlier than planned.
“But we recognise there is still much more to do. BT is committed to rolling out faster broadband as widely and quickly as possible. Working with the Government, local authorities and communities, we are determined to find solutions for even the most challenging areas.”
So far engineers have installed six fibre road-side cabinets in Kempsey, enabling around 1,500 villagers to connect to the new fibre broadband network, with further upgrade work taking place there in the coming months.
Details of which communities will be upgraded during the second phase of Superfast Worcestershire will be announced later this year. In the meantime, people can find out when faster broadband is coming to their area and how to get it by logging onto www.superfastworcestershire.com
Because Superfast Worcestershire is being rolled out by engineers from Openreach – BT’s local network company – anyone opting for an upgrade has a choice of who they take their service from, with more than 140 fibre broadband providers currently operating in the UK.