Oxfordshire broadband partnership celebrates reaching 40,000 homes and businesses

Historic Adderbury is latest community to benefit from multi-million pound roll-out of fibre broadband; 

Pupils are given insight into new technology by apprentice engineers;

Local residents and businesses welcome high-speed broadband boost as 200th fibre cabinet ‘goes live’ as part of ‘Better Broadband for Oxfordshire’;
Government Minister hails “terrific pace” of roll-out

More than 40,000 homes and businesses across the county are now able to access faster fibre broadband as part of the multi-million pound ‘Better Broadband for Oxfordshire’ programme, partners Oxfordshire County Council and BT announced today.

The latest community to benefit is the historic, picturesque village of Adderbury, near Banbury, where pupils, residents and local businesses will today join representatives from the partnership to celebrate the milestone and learn more about the technology and its benefits.

They will gather in Oxford Road to switch on the road-side cabinet that will enable around 200 local premises to access the new fibre network. It’s the 200th cabinet to ‘go live’ since the partnership began connecting the first county premises just over a year ago.

Beforehand youngsters at Christopher Rawlins Church of England Primary School will be given an insight into how fibre optic broadband works by apprentice engineers from Openreach – BT’s local network business – who are rolling out the technology.
Adderbury-based businesses are looking forward to reaping the many benefits of faster fibre broadband.

Chris Shallis, manager of The Bell Inn, said: “Faster broadband will enable me to connect with my customers more efficiently. It will also save me time, allowing me to focus on other areas of my business.”

Karen Reynolds, director of digital marketing at Creative Associates Design and Comms Limited, said: “As graphic designers specialising in publications and large format event materials, we’re regularly required to send very large artwork files to printers and clients, so we often need to upload files well in excess of 2Gb to File Transfer Protocol (FTP).

“Currently we can only do this at night as it slows our internet access to a crawl, and as our connection often ‘times out’, we usually end up sending a back-up Universal Serial Bus (USB) in the post – obviously a much slower method of transfer which significantly impacts on our deadlines.

“Having access to superfast broadband will mean we can send and receive files much more reliably and speedily, giving us a far better turn-around and helping us maintain our competitive edge.”

Phil Goldsworthy, head teacher of Christopher Rawlins CE Primary School, said: “We are very excited about the arrival of fibre broadband in Adderbury. The safe and high speed access will enable our children to make more effective use of ICT, helping them to develop their skills further in online research, deepening and broadening their learning pathways.

“It will also enable our teachers to bring more internet-based technologies the children enjoy into the classroom, making their learning a richer experience, enhancing and enriching our curriculum provision further.”

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: "This is fantastic news for Oxfordshire where our roll-out of superfast broadband is proceeding at a terrific pace. We are on track to reach 95 per cent of the UK by 2017, and the 40,000 homes and businesses that Better Broadband for Oxfordshire has already reached are all part of this ambitious target."

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “I’m delighted that the scheme has reached this milestone and that thousands of Oxfordshire residents and businesses have gained access to fibre-enabled broadband, who, without this significant investment, would not have access to what is increasingly becoming a vital part of modern living.

“I also welcome the further investment that will see even more premises covered by the end of 2017 and bring coverage across Oxfordshire to over 95 per cent.”

Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for broadband partnerships, said: “This is a huge engineering undertaking and the roll-out is progressing extremely well. The project teams are working hard to ensure as many communities have access to faster fibre
broadband as quickly as possible.

“Whether it’s children doing their homework or playing games online, grandparents staying in touch with their families on the other side of the world, or people working or running a business from home – everything is easier and quicker with faster fibre broadband.”

Better Broadband for Oxfordshire is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme. Last month the partnership announced an additional £5.1 million worth of funding which will extend the roll-out to an additional 6,500 premises*.
When both phases of the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme are complete, it will increase the percentage of homes and businesses able to access high-speed fibre broadband in Oxfordshire to around 95 per cent, when combined with private sector investments.

The cabinet being switched on today is one of five that have been installed in the village. As a result, more than 1,000 Adderbury premises are now able to access faster fibre broadband. Additional engineering work taking place will see this figure rise to more than 1,200 later in the year.

Residents and businesses choosing to upgrade will be able to get download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (80Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps**. Because the Openreach network is ‘open’, people have a choice of who they take their service from, with more than 140 fibre broadband providers currently operating in the UK.

Note to Editors

*The deal comprises £1 million from South Oxfordshire District Council, £500,000 from Cherwell District Council, £250,000 from the Vale of the White Horse District Council, £200,000 from Oxfordshire County Council, £1.2m from BT, and a further £1.95m from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Superfast Extension Programme (SEP).

** These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

Issued by Oxfordshire County Council and BT on behalf of the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire partnership.
Press contacts:

For more information please contact Dominic Llewellyn-Jones at Oxfordshire County Council on dominic.llewellyn-jones@oxfordshire.gov.uk or 01865 323 870.


Emma Tennant at the BT regional press office on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.com All BT news releases are available at: http://www.btplc.com/News

About Better Broadband for Oxfordshire
Better Broadband for Oxfordshire is a partnership between Oxfordshire County Council, BT and BDUK. The £30.1 million programme is made up of £10.2 million from Oxfordshire County Council, £5,95 million from the Government (Broadband Delivery UK) and £12.2 million from BT. The District Councils have invested amounts through Oxfordshire County Council of £500,000 from Cherwell, £250,000 from the Vale of White Horse and £1 million from South Oxfordshire, It builds on the existing commercial footprint in the county with the aim that at least 95 per cent of all premises will have access to superfast broadband speeds of 24 Mbps and above by the end of 2017.

The Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme will make superfast broadband available to 71,000 homes and businesses across the county by the end of 2017.For further details go to:www.betterbroadbandoxfordshire.org.uk

About Superfast Britain
Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department for 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:
1. £790m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017;
2. £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities; and
3. £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