New technology 'makes anything possible' for Leicester businesses

Thousands of local businesses are set to benefit from the next stage of Leicestershire’s fibre broadband rollout.

Thousands of local businesses are set to benefit from the next stage of Leicestershire’s fibre broadband rollout.

Around 3,000 local companies will soon be able to get fibre broadband for the first time, thanks to work being carried out by Leicestershire County Council’s multi-million pound Superfast Leicestershire partnership with BT and Leicester City Council.

Already more than 94 per cent[1] of homes and businesses across Leicestershire can access fibre broadband, and the news that this technology is extending into the city to thousands more businesses is being welcomed by the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).

The LLEP has contributed funding to the project over the past two years and is confident it’ll transform the online fortunes of many local businesses, and play a key role in boosting trade in the future.

Nick Pulley, chair of LLEP, said: “This is great news for Leicester and particularly for small-medium sized businesses. Being able to get online and access faster download speeds is more important than ever before and this technology really will make anything possible for thousands of entrepreneurs across the city.

“More than £3 million from our Local Growth Deal has been invested into the Superfast Leicestershire project which will be used to extend fibre broadband access of at least 24Mbps to the vast majority of Leicestershire and now Leicester city.

“The improved broadband coverage to 3,000 small to medium enterprises in the city, and the wider Superfast Leicestershire programme, has the potential to generate economic growth of around £92 million within the local economy.”

The latest phase of planned work will reach nearly 10,000 additional premises in the city by the end of next year, of which 3,000 are businesses. Initial areas set to benefit include parts of Aylestone, Beaumont Leys, Evington, Hamilton and Stoneygate.

Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor of Leicester, said: “Leicester City Council is delighted that the work to provide first class broadband connectivity for our city is continuing with the help of the Superfast Leicestershire project.

“Thousands more businesses across Leicester will now have the opportunity to access the new technology that will support business innovation and growth now and in future years to come.”

Across Leicester and Leicestershire, more than 382,000 homes and businesses are able to get fibre broadband. BT’s commercial rollout combined with the continued development of the Superfast Leicestershire project means that more than 96 per cent of homes and businesses across Leicester and Leicestershire will be able to access a fibre broadband service by December 2017.

Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for next generation access, said: “The importance of fibre broadband and the advantages it brings to business cannot be underestimated. Faster upload and download speeds make so much more possible and help businesses interact online with customer in a more effective way.”

All of the work for Superfast Leicestershire is being carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business, meaning people with access to the fibre network can choose from a range of internet providers.

Benefits of fibre broadband include faster download and upload speeds; the ability to access the internet via multiple devices without experiencing a slow connection, a better online gaming experience, improved file sharing for businesses and access to Cloud computing allowing business users to work flexibly.

For more information about Superfast Leicestershire visit www.superfastleicestershire.org.uk or look out for #SuperfastLeics on Twitter.

[1]94 per cent of Leicestershire is superfast enabled meaning these homes and businesses can access speeds more than 24mbps according to thinkbroadband.com. The website includes regional and national figures based on November 2016 data.