26
August
2016
|
15:14
Europe/Amsterdam

Rural champion celebrates arrival of Superfast Staffordshire at its Midlands headquarters

Summary
The CLA is reaping the benefits of superfast fibre broadband as Woodseaves becomes one of the latest communities to gain access to the technology as part of the Superfast Staffordshire roll-out. The multi-million pound programme is spearheaded by Staffordshire County Council and BT as part of the Government's Broadband Delivery UK.

A national organisation which has campaigned for better broadband for rural businesses is itself now benefitting from faster fibre technology, thanks to the Superfast Staffordshire partnership led by Staffordshire County Council and BT.

The CLA – formerly the Country Land and Business Association – which supports thousands of farmers and other rural businesses around England and Wales, has recently upgraded to faster fibre broadband at its Midlands headquarters in Woodseaves.

The Knightly and Woodseaves areas are the latest to go live as part of Superfast Staffordshire, which is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

Superfast Staffordshire has enabled more than 90,000 households and businesses to connect to fast broadband speeds. The figure rises to around 465,000 when combined with commercial fibre roll-outs by private sector companies, such as BT.

Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader, said: “People and business in rural areas should not be restricted by their location and the Superfast Staffordshire programme is enabling thousands of properties across the county to get connected. Superfast broadband is essential to any business and is vital to ensure vibrant and successful rural communities. We are a largely rural county balanced by our urban centres and superfast connection means the whole county can thrive. CLA is a major organisation which has long- campaigned for better rural broadband and so we’re pleased to have been able to connect its Midlands base.”

Caroline Bedell, CLA Midlands regional director, said: “Fast, affordable broadband is no longer a luxury – it is essential if we are to play a full part in modern society, economically and socially.

“Our years of campaigning for universal access have not just been based on the needs of our members, but also on our own experience. We are therefore delighted to become part of the Superfast Staffordshire network, which means that in common with our other regional offices, we can now share data and use the same programmes via our London-based servers.

“This means more efficient, cost-effective technology, with increased speed, greater choice and added resilience that ultimately benefits our members.”

Ian Binks, BT’s regional manager for Staffordshire and the West Midlands, said: “Every day we’re seeing how faster fibre broadband is changing people’s lives for the better – whether it’s small businesses wanting to share information with their customers and suppliers, or people wanting to work from home, everything is easier and faster with fibre broadband.

“Meanwhile, families wanting to connect more than one device to the internet at the same time can do so without worrying about buffering or their connection dropping out.”

Once an area has gone ‘live’, local households and businesses can access broadband download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (Mbps) and uploads of up to 20Mbps* from a choice of fibre broadband providers.

People can find out more about the Superfast Staffordshire programme at: www.superfaststaffordshire.co.uk

Notes to Editors

*These are the top wholesale speeds available from BT’s local network business Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

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Issued by Staffordshire County Council and BT.

For further information about this news release Tom Hobbins at the Staffordshire County Council press office on 01785 276832 or email: tom.hobbins@staffordshire.gov.uk

OrEmma Tennant at the BT Regional press office on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.com Twitter: @EmmaTennantBT

All BT news releases can be read at www.bt.com/newscentre

Photos of the roll-out of Superfast Staffordshire can be downloaded for free from: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk1eZqD3

About Superfast Staffordshire

Superfast Staffordshire is a partnership between Staffordshire County Council, BDUK and BT. It builds on the commercial roll-outs in the county.

The first phase of the Superfast Staffordshire roll-out programme represents an investment of more than £27 million (£7.44 million from Staffordshire County Council, £7.44m from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK and £12.47m from BT.)

Staffordshire County Council will receive an extra £2.4m from BT following higher than expected take up of fibre broadband. This will be modelled in due course.

The new deal injects further funding into the County Council’s contract with BT, with a further £1.68m coming from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) and £630,000 from BT.

For those premises not included in the fibre footprint, Superfast Staffordshire is aiming to improve broadband speeds using alternative technologies.

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

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 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 of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m.

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