Northern Lincs broadband celebrates first birthday

One year on more than 7000 homes and businesses connected to fibre network as a direct result of the project

Northern Lincs Broadband is celebrating its first birthday by announcing that more than 7000 homes and businesses can now access high-speed fibre broadband as a direct result of the programme.

The multi million pound programme is now halfway through the first phase of the roll-out and the network is continuing to grow rapidly. Scawby Brook became the first community to benefit when high-speed fibre broadband arrived in March this year. Since then engineers have brought the sophisticated fibre optic technology to many more communities such as Epworth, Great Coates, Bottesford, Ashby, Brigg, Barton-upon-Humber, Riddings, Yaddlethorpe and Scartho. It is expected to reach a further 7000 North and North East Lincolnshire premises by the end of September.

Cllr Neil Poole, cabinet member for policy and resources, said: “The Northern Lincs Broadband project is already proving to be a success and we are only a year in. It is fantastic that thousands more homes and businesses can access high-speed broadband and reap the many benefits that it brings. It is a great step forward for Northern Lincolnshire and means that more opportunities will become available for businesses through improved online communication.

“Our Business Support team is doing a brilliant job of providing businesses with the skills and knowledge to market their business online and make the most of the internet to develop their business. I’m sure the next year is going to be just as successful.”

The Northern Lincs Broadband programme will build on BT’s commercial investment of £2.5 billion to roll-out fibre broadband to two-thirds of UK premises. This investment has already provided fibre broadband connectivity in Brigg, Barton on Humber, Healing, Grimsby, Messingham, Scartho and Scunthorpe.

By the end of June 2015 more than 92 per cent of North and North-East Lincolnshire premises will have access to the high-speed technology.

As part of the Northern Lincs Broadband Programme, engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, have so far laid more than 100 kilometres of optical fibre cable and by the end of the project will have installed more than 150 new fibre broadband cabinets in streets the length and breadth of Northern Lincolnshire.

Tom Keeney, BT’s regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Investment in fibre and faster broadband speeds will be a key part of Northern Lincolnshire’s future economic growth. Broadband is now seen as an essential rather than a luxury. Despite the recent economic downturn, broadband numbers have continued to increase, not least because people see it as a route to jobs and markets. It provides the cornerstone for prosperous communities – helping local people build their skills and knowledge and encouraging the creation of new businesses and jobs.”

Local film company, Let There Be Light Productions, was quick to take advantage of fibre broadband and is now reaping the benefits.

Hugh Mann Adamson, managing director, said: “With good upload and download speeds, we don’t need to meet clients at all. We often use Skype to speak to clients, not just in this country but abroad too. Recently we used the internet to speak to a client who is in Spain. Nowadays, if someone wants to know more about your company, you need a fully-functioning website. Faster speeds help businesses websites to work much better.”

The high-speed network installed by Openreach is available on an open, wholesale basis to all companies offering broadband services so North and North East Lincolnshire households and businesses will benefit from a highly competitive market.

The investment in fibre broadband will boost the local economy and help to create or protect local jobs. It will be of particular benefit to local businesses which can use the faster speeds to improve their competitiveness both within the UK and abroad.

Northern Lincs Broadband has developed a free programme of business support to help eligible small businesses to save time, money and improve efficiency. The programme of dedicated IT specialists and business advisors provides tailored support geared towards maximising the benefits of improved connectivity.

For up to date information on available business support and the roll-out visit
www.investinnorthlincs.co.uk or www.northlincs.gov.uk.


Notes to Editors:
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% 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

About Northern Lincs Broadband

The Northern Lincs Broadband Programme 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.communities.gov.uk/erdf.