28
March
2014
|
00:00
Europe/Amsterdam

New website to shed light on rural broadband roll out

Rural communities can now check when they will receive fibre broadband via a new website launched today (28/03/14). 

The website has a range of information on the Superfast Leicestershire programme which aims to extend high-speed fibre broadband to 96% of homes and businesses in Leicestershire by the end of March 2016. 

The website includes information on: 

• Benefits of fibre broadband for businesses and households 

• The timetable for increasing the coverage 

• Our plans to increase coverage even further 

Blake Pain, county council cabinet member for rural broadband, said: “Our new website is the first step keeping residents informed on how we are providing superfast broadband across Leicestershire. Visitors to the site will be able to find out about superfast broadband, how their area could benefit and when they can expect to receive this service. 

“Leicestershire has a thriving rural economy consisting of a large number of small and micro businesses in creative, knowledge-based sectors which would see a huge benefit from superfast broadband. 

“Providing firms with access to superfast broadband will make them more competitive and attract inward investment and jobs to help unlock rural Leicestershire’s economic potential.” 

Owen Moody, BT’s East Midlands regional director, said: “Faster broadband will deliver important benefits for people across Leicestershire, whether they are running a business, working or studying from home, doing the weekly shop online, downloading films and TV programmes or keeping in touch with friends and family around the world. It can all be done better using faster broadband.” 

The launch of the new website coincides with the announcement of additional funding for the project from Leicestershire’s district councils. An extra 4,400 homes and businesses will now benefit from £1.1m of funding pledged by the district councils. 


The new website can found accessed at: www.superfastleicestershire.org.uk 

ENDS 

Notes to editors 

Superfast Leicestershire is a project that aims to bring superfast fibre broadband to as many homes and businesses in Leicestershire as possible. 

It 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 96% of premises. We expect that 54,000 premises will be able to access super-fast broadband speeds of at least 24Mbps. 

The county council is investing £4m in this project. £1.1m has been allocated by the district and borough councils, with an additional £3.3m coming from the Government and £1.2m from the European Union. BT is also contributing £8.3m towards the overall cost of the Superfast Leicestershire project. 

Many homes and businesses in the county may already have access to 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. 

ERDF 
The Superfast Leicestershire project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit 
www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding