MP praises progress of superfast Leicestershire as rollout passes 45,000 housesholds and businesses
Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan has been finding out more about the technology being used to bring fibre broadband to thousands of properties in her constituency.
The MP visited one of the new Superfast Leicestershire fibre broadband cabinets, on Laburnum Way in the town, to find out for herself how fibre broadband works and why it’s making such a difference to everyday life.
The MP said: “Many constituents have told me that superfast broadband is an absolute must. Many have businesses that need it, and many more simply want a reliable and quick broadband connection.
“That is why I am encouraged to hear that fibre broadband is being rolled out to more and more properties across the constituency. I would encourage constituents to find out more about fibre broadband by taking a look at the Superfast Leicestershire website.”
Superfast Leicestershire is a partnership between Leicestershire County Council, district councils, BT and the Government that has already made fibre broadband available to more than 45,000 homes and businesses.
The project, which first made fibre broadband available in July 2014, remains on course to reach more than 72,000 households and businesses by the end of 2018.
This includes 2,750 properties in Loughborough thanks to £100,000 of funding from Charnwood Borough Council.
The roadside fibre broadband cabinet on Laburnum Way is one of 203 installed across Leicestershire during the last twelve months. They are connected to the network by more than 335 kilometres of underground cable.
Paul Bimson, BT’s regional partnership director for the East Midlands, said: “A great deal of work is taking place across Leicestershire to make fibre broadband available to as many people as possible. It’s making a real difference as well with rural communities now able to access a whole range of new services thanks to faster download speeds. There’s still more to do but we’re progressing really well.”
By the end of 2018, it's expected that more than 360,000 homes and businesses across Leicestershire will have access to fibre broadband thanks to the original £18.8 million Superfast Leicestershire contract (62,000 properties), a £9.2 million contract extension signed in March (10,000 properties) and BT’s own commercial roll-out of the technology (290,000 properties).
Blake Pain, Leicestershire County Council’s cabinet member for broadband, said: “The Superfast Leicestershire project continues to provide residents and businesses across the county with faster broadband speeds, benefitting the community and also the economy.”
High speed fibre broadband boosts the competitiveness of local firms and offers new ways of flexible working, entertainment and learning opportunities for local residents.
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.
Across the country, BT is investing more than £3 billion in fibre broadband through its commercial rollout of the technology and superfast broadband partnerships with central and local government partners, such as Leicestershire County Council, in the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.
This major engineering programme will deliver a high speed, future proof network and has already put the UK ahead of its major EU competitors. The network is open to all internet service providers, bringing customer choice and competition.
For more information about Superfast Leicestershire visit www.superfastleicestershire.org.uk or look out for #SuperfastLeics on Twitter.
There are two photographs attached to this news release:
Photo 1a – Openreach Apprentice Ashley Smith with Nicky Morgan MP
Photo 1b – (L-R) Ashley Smith, Openreach Apprentice; Sarah Hogan, Openreach Engineer; Nicky Morgan MP; Councillor David Slater, Leader of Charnwood Borough Council; Paul Bimson, BT'’s Regional Partnerships Director for the East Midlands; Councillor Blake Pain, Leicestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Broadband; Tim O’Sullivan, BT’s Director of Public Affairs.
Notes to Editors
About Superfast Leicestershire
Superfast Leicestershire is a project that seeks to extend high-speed fibre broadband coverage beyond the existing commercial fibre broadband rollout of companies such as Openreach (a BT Group company) and Virgin Media to support the County Council’s vision that all premises can access superfast broadband speeds by 2018.
As part of the initial £18.8m contract the county council is investing £4.0m in this project. £1.1m has been allocated by the district and borough councils, with an additional £3.4m coming from the Government and £1.2m from the European Unionas part of the European Regional Development Fund. BT is also contributing £9.1m towards the overall cost of the Superfast Leicestershire project. This contract will ensure high-speed broadband access to 62,000 premises.
The Superfast Extension Programme contract will ensure a further £9.2m of investment to increase coverage. Government is investing £3.45m, £1.45m is from the county council, £2m has been allocated by the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership as part of its Local Growth Fund, and £2.3m is from BT. The Superfast Extension Programme contract will ensure high-speed broadband access to more than 10,000 additional premises in Leicestershire.
Many homes and businesses in the county may already have access to fibre broadband. Superfast Leicestershire concentrates on the areas the commercial rollout is not able to reach. In addition to the commitment to extend superfast broadband coverage, Superfast Leicestershire aims to ensure all premises have access to at least 2Mbps.
The county council is keen to ensure that everyone within Leicestershire can benefit from this project as it helps to grow the economy over the coming years. The county council anticipates that this investment in superfast broadband could generate £92m of economic growth by 2021, and will work with local communities as well as help small businesses to adopt technologies and grow.
About Superfast Britain
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:
• £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 more information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk