Royal Wootton bassett kicks off switch to high speed broadband

Town is first in Wiltshire to go live as part of multi-million pound partnership 
Royal Wootton Bassett is celebrating the arrival of superfast fibre broadband in the town this week. 

The town has become the first in Wiltshire to ‘go live’ as part of the multi-million pound partnership between Wiltshire Council, South Gloucestershire Council and BT which has benefited from additional funding from the UK Government’s Superfast Britain programme and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 

The partnership aims to take superfast speeds of 24Mbps and above to 91 per cent of premises in Wiltshire by the end of March 20161, This will be achieved by laying nearly 1,500 kilometres of fibre cabling and installing more than 300 new street cabinets across the county. 

Once the roll-out is completed in Royal Wootton Bassett in the coming months, around 1,500 residents and businesses will have the chance to take advantage of the new technology. 

On Wednesday December 18 from 9am- 11am at Royal Wootton Bassett Town Hall, officers from Wiltshire Council’s Wiltshire Online team will be on hand to talk to the public about the superfast broadband programme and their Digital Literacy programme. The team want to encourage and support people across the county to get online through initiatives such as the recruitment of volunteers from across the county to provide free, basic computer support to people in their local community. There is a whole host of support available and people are encouraged to pop down and pay the team a visit. 

Wiltshire Council cabinet member for broadband, John Thomson, said: “It’s fantastic that superfast broadband is now live in Royal Wootton Bassett. We are hugely committed to providing this vital service across the county and it is a key initiative in our four year business plan. 

“This will provide a real boost for residents and local businesses. We have worked hard with our partners to get to this stage and look forward to announcing more communities soon who will benefit from superfast broadband”. 

The switch on is part of a national initiative, which sees green fibre broadband cabinets in many parts of the country ‘going live’ simultaneously today. Super Switch On Day marks the progress of super-fast broadband partnerships with Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) – the government agency providing £780 million in public funding to extend super-fast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017. 

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: “The switching on of super-fast broadband in Royal Wootton Bassett, is great news for both local residents and businesses. Today’s announcement is just part of a transformation of broadband services happening throughout the UK. Broadband is an essential part of Royal Wootton Bassett’s present and future. It is vital that we embrace this latest generation of technology in order for our economy to remain competitive.” 

Paul Coles, BT’s South West regional manager, said: Through this ambitious partnership the people of Royal Wootton Bassett find themselves at the leading edge of the high speed broadband revolution with access to the next generation of internet services. 

“Reliable, fast connections can make all the difference to homes and businesses, and give people in rural as well as urban areas much greater scope for interaction with the world around them whether they are seeking to start a new business, find new customers, undertake on-line training or simply wishing to browse for entertainment or leisure purposes.”.

More information on the project can be found at www.wiltshireonline.org . 


For more information please contact the Wiltshire Council communications team on 01225 713115/6 or 01225 713664. 
Alternatively contact the BT regional press office on 0800 085 0660 (chris.orum@bt.com). All BT news releases can be read at www.bt.com/newscentre 

Notes for editors: 

Media photocall/interview opportunities: 
At 9am on Wednesday, December 18, the Government’s communications minister Ed Vaizey, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for broadband John Thomson and Bill Murphy, managing director next generation networks for BT Group will be available for interviews and photographs. 

1This builds on BT’s existing commercial roll out, which has already made the high speed technology available to 92,000 homes and businesses in the project area, rising to more than 100,000 once the roll-out is completed. 

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, TV 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. 

For the year ended 31 March 2013, BT Group’s reported revenue was £18,103m with reported profit before taxation of £2,315m. 

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 

About Superfast Britain 
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