Rochdale logs on to high-speed broadband

New fibre network set to boost business and home workers 

Families also to benefit from faster fibre network
Almost 900 Rochdale borough businesses and households can now benefit from high-speed fibre broadband rolled out by the £15 million Get Digital Faster programme across Greater Manchester.

Twelve green street fibre broadband cabinets have already gone live across parts of Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton, making fibre broadband available to 880 homes and businesses so far.

By March 2016, Rochdale borough will have a further 35 street cabinets bringing high-speed fibre broadband to almost 3,300 homes and businesses across the Rochdale area, thanks to the £15 million Get Digital Faster partnership involving Rochdale Council and BT. It builds on BT’s commercial programme, which has already made fibre broadband available to more than 41,000 Rochdale premises.

Councillor Peter Williams, Deputy Leader of Rochdale Council and Cabinet member for Business, Skills and Employment, said: “More and more people are running their daily affairs online, from shopping to banking and booking their holidays. High speed broadband access is high on their wish list and thanks to schemes like this will one day become an everyday essential for the vast majority of the public.

“This will also play a key part in boosting our local economy. Faster broadband speeds will be a valuable tool for businesses in helping to grow and create jobs which will benefit the whole of our borough.”

Tony Morgan, BT’s Get Digital Faster programme director, said: “Rochdale businesses and people at home can now start to discover the benefits of high speed broadband. The effects on the local economy cannot be overstated and people in Rochdale will find that there are real benefits in their homes and at work thanks to the arrival of the fibre broadband network. Take the final step and sign up for this vital technology.”

Residents and businesses in Rochdale can look forward to download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps .

This will bring major benefits to homes and businesses alike. Businesses will be able to conduct their transactions more quickly and efficiently and households will be able to surf the internet, download large files of information, upload photographs and download music, films and television programmes all at the same time, and more quickly than ever before,

The Get Digital Faster programme, launched in June 2014, has already delivered 205 cabinets across Greater Manchester, bringing fibre broadband to more than 18,000 homes and businesses.

The North West European Regional Development Fund has provided £4.9 million, BT £4.6 million, the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) initiative £3 million and local councils (Rochdale, Bury, Stockport, Bolton, Trafford, Oldham, Tameside and Wigan) £2.5 million. The Get Digital Faster programme is being delivered by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and BT on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

Fibre broadband is projected to boost Greater Manchester’s economy by some £80 million and create around 500 new jobs according to an economic study.* The programme also links into a Business Growth Hub** which, along with local councils, will provide businesses with the skills and expertise to make the most of the opportunities a sophisticated broadband network will provide.

Work on the Get Digital Faster project is well under way across the region. Engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, the local network business, are laying around 400 kilometres of optical fibre cable – the equivalent of twice around the Greater
Manchester boundary - and installing a total of around 500 new fibre broadband cabinets throughout the area. It is estimated that 150 people involved in delivery will complete more than 500,000 staff hours of work planning and building the network during the lifetime of the project.

The Openreach network is open to all broadband service providers on an equal, wholesale basis. When an area has gone ‘live’ for fibre, people may opt for an upgrade from a choice of fibre broadband providers, with more than 140 now operating in the UK.
Residents or businesses who want to find out more about Get Digital Faster can visit www.get-digital-faster.info

Photo caption: Rochdale logs on to high-speed broadband – left to right – Tony Gaffey, Openreach engineer; Councillor Peter Williams, Deputy Leader of Rochdale Council and Cabinet member for Business, Skills and Employment; Garry Rooney, Senior Project Manager, Openreach; Tony Morgan, BT’s Get Digital Faster Programme Director.

For press/media inquiries please contact:
Jennifer Hollamby, Rochdale Borough Council Press Officer on 01706 925683
Graham Taylor, BT Regional Press Office on 0800 085 0660;
Duncan McGraw, TfGM Senior Comms Officer on 07584387392.

Notes to Editors
* The quoted economic study – A summary of Economic Impacts by Regeneris Consulting – December 2012 See: Superfast Broadband – Boosting Business and the UK Economy’.
* *Established in 2011 the Business Growth Hub has helped thousands of businesses across Greater Manchester, from established and large companies to start-ups and SME enterprises. Accountable to the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, the
Business Growth Hub’s challenge is to ensure that companies across Greater Manchester reach their full potential and are able to access the right support and services to meet their needs.

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

About ERDF
The Get Digital Faster project is part financed by the North West 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

About BDUK
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