08
August
2014
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00:00
Europe/Amsterdam

Superfast Lancashire announces next communities to benefit from high-speed fibre broadband for the first time

High speed fibre broadband will arrive in ten Lancashire communities for the first time within the next two months, Lancashire County Council and BT announced today.

Between now and the end of September, Superfast Lancashire’s £130 million programme is expected to make the high speed technology available to nearly 40,000 more homes and businesses. The latest communities to benefit will be Turton, Padiham, Burnley, Brinscall, Weeton, Fylde, Hoghton, Preston, Rufford, and Appley Bridge whilst a further two communities where work started earlier, Coppull and Whalley in the Ribble Valley, are mostly completed already.

The total figure across the county delivered by the programme currently stands at more than 64,000 premises, so this next phase is expected to take the total past the 100,000 mark.

This news comes as the Government today announced that more than 1 million UK homes and businesses now have access to superfast broadband as a result of the Broadband Delivery UK rollout. Up to 40,000 premises are now gaining access every week and the programme will extend superfast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017.

Openreach – BT’s local network business – will be laying the fibre optic cable and putting in new roadside cabinets in the coming weeks so that people and businesses can benefit from the technology.
Updates on the roll-out of Superfast Lancashire and other useful information are available on the programme’s website – www.superfastlancashire.com

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “I congratulate Superfast Lancashire on their excellent progress to date and am delighted to hear that another ten communities are set to go superfast by September, joining the more than 64,000 homes and businesses in Lancashire who are already benefiting from the Government’s UK rollout.”

County Councillor Sean Serridge, Champion for Digital Inclusion at Lancashire County Council, said: “This is a great achievement and shows we are well on the way to achieving our goal of providing 97 per cent of the county with high-speed broadband by the end of next year.

“Faster fibre broadband is hugely important for the county both economically and socially. There can be few areas of modern life which are not touched in some
way by broadband connectivity – whether it’s supporting how we work, how we learn, how we communicate with friends and family, or how we entertain ourselves.”

Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT, said: “The Superfast Lancashire programme is making strong progress, bringing high-speed fibre broadband to some of the most challenging areas. The programme shows the power of the public and private sectors working together. BT has brought technical expertise to the table as well as millions of pounds of investment and, if we can go further, we will do so. This exciting technology is providing a major boost for local households and businesses whether they are using it to work more efficiently and find new customers or for online learning and leisure.”

Fibre to the cabinet is the main technology deployed. It offers download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps .

The Openreach network is open to all internet service providers on an equal wholesale basis, so local people can choose from a wide range of suppliers and benefit from competitive products and pricing.

Superfast Lancashire is a partnership between Lancashire County Council and BT, with additional funding from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme (BDUK), as well as the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Blackburn with Darwen Council and Blackpool Council. Combined with the private sector’s commercial roll-out of fibre broadband, the partnership will make the high-speed technology available to 97 per cent of the county’s homes and businesses by the end of next year. It builds on the private sector rollout of fibre broadband to extend coverage across the county.

In addition to the roll-out of high-speed broadband across the county, a Business Support Centre has opened as part of Superfast Lancashire. It is run by a team of specialists to advise small and medium-sized businesses across the
county how to use the new technology to enhance their business. More information is available from: www.superfastlancashire.com
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Notes to Editors


For photos of the BDUK fibre deployment, please go here; https://www.flickr.com/photos/107803477@N08/sets/

For more details of fibre rollout plans go here; www.bt.com/furtherwithfibre

Superfast Lancashire’s Business Support Programme is governed by eligibility criteria defined by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) based on size, primary activity, turnover etc. Businesses will be expected to complete an initial short self-certification form which will be validated by one of the advisors.

The programme will link with other key support initiatives across Lancashire. This will enable businesses to gain from the extended benefits of complementary programmes such as Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, subject to not having exceeded their ERDF allowance.

The Business Support Programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in partnership with Superfast Lancashire.

BT is contributing £30 million to the project whilst £10.8 million will come from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), £16.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund and £5.2 million from local councils (£4.7m from LCC, £300,000 from Blackburn with Darwen Council and £230,000 from Blackpool Council.

This 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

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