North Luffenham is first community to benefit from Digital Rutland project

About 200 local homes and businesses in the village can already get high-speed technology 

**Media Opportunity** - Reporters/photographers are invited to attend the launch event for the first community in Rutland to get high-speed fibre broadband under the Digital Rutland project. It is taking place at 1.00pm on Tuesday 16 July 2013 at Church Street, located near to the Oval Recreation Ground entrance, North Luffenham. 

The village of North Luffenham was today announced as the first community to benefit from the £3 million Digital Rutland project. High-speed fibre broadband is now available to around 200 local homes and businesses. 

Representatives from Rutland County Council and BT, the partners in the project, were in the village today to celebrate the occasion with local residents. 

The sophisticated technology offers broadband speeds many times faster than those previously available. Local residents can obtain more information by contacting their internet service provider. 

Councillor Roger Begy, Leader of Rutland County Council, says: “North Luffenham is not only the first Rutland community to receive superfast broadband under our project, but also the first in the East Midlands to do so using funding from the government’s rural broadband scheme. We live in an extremely rural area and the importance of providing access to high speed broadband for our residents and businesses should not be underestimated.” 

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for next generation access, said: “It is a fantastic achievement that people in Rutland are already seeing the benefits of this programme. This investment in fibre broadband will boost the local economy and help to create or protect local jobs both in communities like North Luffenham village and across the whole of Rutland. It will be of enormous benefit to local businesses which can use the faster speeds to improve their competitiveness both within the UK and abroad.” 

Rutland MP Alan Duncan commented: “It is great to see the first cabinet being switched on. The Council have invested a huge amount of effort to get to this point and it marks the beginning of the exciting next step towards a fast, quality broadband network in Rutland.” 

During the next few months, the majority of homes and businesses in Rutland will get access to high-speed fibre broadband through the Digital Rutland project and as part of BT’s commercial rollout. 

All ten telephone exchanges located in Rutland are being upgraded meaning the great majority of the 17,000 homes and businesses within the county will then have access to high-speed fibre broadband from an internet provider of their choice. The new network is available on an open, wholesale basis to all companies offering broadband services. 

High-speed fibre broadband will provide local businesses with better access to technology such as cloud computing as well as flexible working, whilst residents can utilise the faster download speeds when using social media, catch up TV or when downloading music. 

Digital Rutland will soon announce the next local communities to receive high-speed fibre broadband. In recent months, residents will have noticed fibre cables being laid and new green cabinets being put in place in towns and villages across the county. 

Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC), which is capable of delivering speeds of up to 80Mbps, will be the main technology deployed and will be rolled out first. Even faster fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology, offering speeds of up to 330Mbps, will also be available “on demand” in FTTC areas. 

Digital Rutland is funded by Rutland County Council, BT and BDUK (Department for Culture, Media & Sport.) 

BT was chosen by the Council following an extensive and thorough selection process. 

For more information visit www.rutland.gov.uk/digitalrutland 

About BT 
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach. 
In the year ended 31 March 2013, BT Group’s revenue was £18,017m with profit before taxation of £2,501m. 
British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York. 
For more information, visit www.btplc.com 

1 80Mbps and 330Mbps are wholesale speeds. Internet service providers ( ISPs) may use different speeds in their advertising. Individual line speeds will depend on network infrastructure and the service chosen by the ISP.