Multi-million pound connecting Shropshire high-speed broadband programme announces timetable for next 14 months

Programme moves up a gear during 2014 as work begins in 25 more areas 
Work has begun in the next 25 exchange areas to benefit from the £24.6 million Connecting Shropshire programme. Partners Shropshire Council and BT today announced more details 
about the areas where people will be able to start accessing faster fibre broadband over the next 14 months. 

The exchange areas are: Bayston Hill, Bomere Heath, Broseley, Bucknell, Chirk, Church Stretton, Cleehillstone (Clee Hill), Cleobury Mortimer, Clun, Craven Arms, Cross 
Houses, Dorrington, Hadnall, Hanwood, Highley, Much Wenlock, Pipegate, Prees, Quatt, Queens Head, Shawbury, Shifnal, Tenbury Wells, Wem and Whixall. 

The high-speed technology is expected to start going ‘live’ in Bayston Hill, Bomere Heath, Bucknell, Church Stretton, Craven Arms, Cross Houses, Dorrington, Hadnall, 
Hanwood, Much Wenlock and Shawbury from this Summer. The other exchange areas will start to go live later in the year and will be shown as 'future exchanges' on the Openreach 
where-and-when pages, see: http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/ 

After several months of planning and surveying work, engineers will begin putting in the fibre optic cable and new roadside cabinets that are needed for people to get access to 
the new fibre broadband network. 

At the same time fibre broadband will be extended in the parts of Bridgnorth, Ludlow, Market Drayton and Oswestry not already covered by any commercial rollout. 

Work to connect the remaining exchange areas in this particular phase will begin in the second half of this year, with the majority completed by the end of Spring 2015. By this 
time more than 30,000 premises are expected to have been provided with access to fibre broadband, marking the half-way point in the Connecting Shropshire programme. 

Connecting Shropshire will continue to keep people informed of the progress of the programme in these and other areas via the website www.connectingshropshire.co.uk, 
Shropshire councillors, parish councils and regular updates in the media. 

Connecting Shropshire is a partnership between Shropshire Council, BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) that will enable more than 62,000 rural or 
very rural homes and businesses in Shropshire (excluding Telford and Wrekin) to access faster broadband. 

The combined investment from Connecting Shropshire and the private sector’s commercial roll-out plans will mean 93 per cent of homes and businesses in the Shropshire 

Council area will have access to faster fibre broadband by the end of Spring 2016. 

Shropshire homes and businesses will be able to order fibre broadband from a wide range of internet service providers as the network is available to all providers on an open, 
wholesale basis, thereby ensuring competitive prices. To check whether you can access fibre broadband services contact your internet service provider. 

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council Cabinet member responsible for broadband, said: “Following on from recent announcements about communities getting fibre broadband 
ahead of schedule, and further phase one communities due to get fibre broadband by the spring, we are building confidence in the programme as a whole to bring faster broadband to 
the current and future generations”. 

Mike Cook, BT’s regional director for the West Midlands, said: “It’s a huge engineering project that we’re undertaking here in Shropshire, but we’re committed to 
connecting communities as quickly as possible whilst of course planning carefully to ensure the project delivers the best value for money from the investment. 

“The internet is playing an increasingly important part in all our lives which is why the strong progress being made by Connecting Shropshire is so important.” 


Notes to editors 
BT’s own commercial rollout of fibre broadband will bring fibre broadband to more than 123,000 homes and businesses across the county by the end of Spring 2014 (includes Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council areas). 

Some of the future exchange areas cover premises in neighbouring local authorities. Homes and businesses in each local authority area are the responsibility of the respective broadband programmes in Wales, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Telford, Worcestershire, and Herefordshire (Fastershire). Links to these programmes can be found on the following page of the Connecting Shropshire website in the 'Bordering Counties broadband information' section: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/related-external-links/ 

Chirk exchange is located in Wales, but Connecting Shropshire has the responsibility for enabling the infrastructure needed to provide access to faster fibre broadband for homes and businesses in the Shropshire Council area. 


For further information about this news release please contact: Emma Tennant at the BT Regional press office on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.com (All BT news releases can be read at www.bt.com/newscentre) or 
Callum McLagan at the Shropshire Council press office on 01743 255939 or email callum.mclagan@shropshire.gov.uk (All Shropshire Council news stories can be read at http://shropshire.gov.uk/news/) 
Connecting Shropshire programme website: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/ 

About Connecting Shropshire 

Connecting Shropshire is the name given to the programme bringing fibre based broadband to areas where it isn’t economically viable for commercial companies to provide it. It is a partnership between Shropshire Council, BT and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) that will enable more than 62,000 homes and businesses in Shropshire (excluding Telford and Wrekin) to access faster broadband by the end of Spring 2016. 
When added to BT’s commercial roll-out, 93 per cent of premises in the Shropshire Council area will have access to fibre based broadband by the end of Spring 2016. All premises in the programme area will be provided with access to a basic level of broadband (a minimum of 2mbps). 

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 per cent 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