07
October
2014
|
00:00
Europe/Amsterdam

Stockport logs on to high-speed Broadband

More than 500 Stockport businesses and homes can now benefit from high-speed fibre broadband rolled out by the £15 million Get Digital Faster programme across Greater Manchester.

Ten green street cabinets have already gone live in and around the centre of Stockport, making fibre broadband available to 556 premises. The Get Digital Faster programme will give 45,000 homes and businesses across Greater Manchester access to fibre broadband by March 2016. This builds on commercial fibre broadband networks already installed by the private sector. BT’s own commercial rollout of fibre broadband has made the high-speed technology available to more than 970,000 North West homes and businesses.

The North West European Regional Development Fund has provided £4.9 million for the programme, BT £4.6 million, the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) initiative £3 million and local councils (Stockport, Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Trafford, Rochdale, Tameside and Wigan) £2.5 million.

The Get Digital Faster programme, started in July, has already installed 35 fibre broadband cabinets across Greater Manchester, making fibre broadband available to more than 2,000 homes and businesses.

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

Councillor Sue Derbyshire, Leader of Stockport Council, said: “I’m delighted to be able to announce Stockport is beginning to benefit from further high-speed fibre broadband under the Get Digital Faster programme. The project is still very new – it launched in July with the first cabinet going live in Oldham, so already we are taking significant steps towards making Greater Manchester one of the world’s top 20 digital cities by 2020.”

Stockport Council recently launched a host of new user-friendly improvements to its website, designed to make doing things simpler and quicker online. Stockport’s own residents have helped to develop the website, taking part in testing to make sure that the online forms and popular information are just one or two clicks away.

The new website homepage gives residents and businesses easy access to the most popular tasks: Report it, Pay for it and Apply for it. So, whether that's reporting a faulty street light, paying a bill, or applying for a school place or planning permission, it’s quicker and easier than ever before. And a ‘must-have’ for residents and businesses was ensuring that these new developments work as well on a smartphone and tablet as they do on a traditional PC.

Steve Holmes, BT’s programme director, said: “This switch to high speed, high performance technology will fire up the local economy in Stockport. We’re really pleased with the rapid progress of Get Digital Faster:

“Already local residents and businesses are able to access faster broadband speeds and unlock all the economic and social possibilities that come with it. Get Digital Faster is a great example of people and businesses benefitting from private and public sector partnership investment.”

Residents can look forward to download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps1 . This allows a number of people in a household to surf the internet, download and share large files of information, upload photographs, and download music, films and television programmes all at the same time, and more quickly than ever before.

Work on the Get Digital Faster project is well underway across the region. Engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, 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 over 500,000 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 need to 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 visitwww.get-digital.info.

Ends

1 80Mbps and 20Mbps are wholesale speeds. ISPs may use different speeds in their advertising. Individual line speeds will depend on network infrastructure and the service chosen by the ISP

For press/media inquiries please contact:
Graham Taylor, BT Regional Press Office on 0800 085 0660;
Duncan McGraw, TfGM Senior Comms Officer on 07584387392.
John Spittlehouse, Stockport Council Communications on 0161 474 3064.

Notes to Editors

* The quoted economic study – A summary of Economic Impacts by Regeneris Consulting – December 2013 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.

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
https://www.gov.uk/erdf-programmes-and-resources#north-west