Superfast broadband boost for businesses in Elstree

Businesses based at Centennial Business Park are celebrating having access to faster broadband today, as part of Connected Counties – the £18.06 million partnership to transform internet speeds for thousands of businesses and residents in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Following the ‘switch on’ of a high-tech fibre broadband cabinet at the park, which is in Elstree, local businesses are now able to order faster broadband from a wide range of internet service providers.

The Connected Counties partnership – made up of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire county councils and BT – aims to bring high-speed fibre-optic broadband, to more than 90 per cent of homes and businesses in the two counties by the end of March 2016.

The Hertfordshire side of the project has been funded by £1.1 million contributions from Hertfordshire County Council and Central Government. BT is contributing £8.6 million towards the project as a whole.

Hertfordshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership has also contributed with an investment of £0.5m, making the rollout at Centennial Business Park possible.

Nick Joels, director at Innovators International Ltd, has been a passionate supporter for faster broadband connectivity in Centennial Business Park.

Nick said “We will now be able to communicate in a timely fashion with our customers and suppliers. The ability to transmit large data files will transform the way in which we work and result in huge timesaving and increased efficiency.

“It will also substantially reduce the stress levels experienced by our employees in dealing with urgent customer requests that could previously not be fulfilled due to the limitations imposed on them by slow internet connection.”

Nick went on to say “I would very much like to thank the Connected Counties programme for all the help and assistance they have given us in securing this broadband service”.

Chris Hayward, Hertfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for enterprise, education and skills, welcomed the news, saying: “Improving business broadband speeds has long been an ambition of Hertfordshire County Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership. The Connected Counties programme’s upgrades are excellent news for businesses based at Centennial Business Park – they will now have access to faster and more reliable broadband, giving them even more opportunities to prosper.”

Andrew Percival, chair of Hertfordshire LEP's infrastructure board, added: "One of the LEP's key roles is to ensure that Hertfordshire is a great place to do business. Reliable broadband access is an absolute essential for modern businesses looking to grow, and we're delighted to have been able to support further roll out at Centennial Business Park".

Annette Thorpe, BT regional partnership director for the East of England, said: “This is great news for Centennial Business Park as fibre broadband provides fast, strong and reliable connections and will boost the local economy, helping to create and protect local jobs. It will be of enormous benefit to businesses which can use the faster speeds to improve their competitiveness both within the UK and abroad.”

Faster fibre broadband has already been rolled out at Maylands Business Park in Hemel Hempstead, and is underway at Gunnelswood Road in Stevenage, as part of the scheme.

The Connected Counties programme will make fibre broadband available to 14,000 Hertfordshire households and businesses, building on BT’s commercial rollout which has so far provided nearly 400,000 premises with access.

The high-speed network is available on an open, wholesale basis to all communication providers, therefore offering Hertfordshire households and businesses the benefit of real choice from a highly competitive market.

For more information about Connected Counties, please visit www.connectedccounties.org


Notes to Editors

- *Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) will be the main technology deployed and can deliver wholesale downstream speeds of up to 80Mbps and upstream speeds of up to 20Mbps. FTTC sees fibre running from the telephone exchange as far as the nearest BT cabinet.

- Openreach, BT’s local network business, will install the fibre network. The network will then be open to all communication providers on an equal wholesale basis. More than 140 service providers currently use BT’s fibre network to offer broadband service to customers. Businesses and residents in Hertfordshire will therefore benefit from a highly competitive market, bringing greater choice and affordable prices.

- According to the Ofcom, Fixed Broadband Speeds Map 2012, the average broadband speed in Hertfordshire is 16Mbps, with 9.5 per cent of premises receiving less than 2Mbps.

- Under the BDUK contract, 14,010 premises in Hertfordshire will have access to fibre by the end of March 2016. Additional funding of £0.5m was provided by Hertfordshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership.

Connected Counties

Connected Counties is a joint project to bring fibre broadband to over 90 per cent of homes and businesses in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire by the end of March 2016.

For more information, visit www.connectedcounties.org

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