Superfast South Yorkshire gives the area even more reasons to celebrate Yorkshire day

The first homes and businesses can benefit as the first fibre broadband street cabinets ‘go live’ five months early

The first four Superfast South Yorkshire fibre street cabinets have ‘gone live’ five months ahead of schedule as part of the million pound broadband roll-out programme.

One fibre street cabinet in each of the local authority areas of South Yorkshire has been upgraded, bringing high speed fibre broadband to around 200 homes and businesses in Rotherham, Doncaster, Sheffield and Barnsley.

People living and working in South Yorkshire will start to see many more new green cabinets popping up in streets the length and breadth of the area as the first phase of the Superfast South Yorkshire programmes progresses. And a further 70 cabinets will be switched on, in locations such as Balby Car Bank, Wheatley Hall Road in Doncaster, Dodsworth, Grimethorpe in Barnsley, Dinnington, Fitzwilliam Road in Rotherham and Upperthorpe, Norfolk Park and Burngreave in Sheffield, bringing the new technology within reach of 10,000 homes and businesses by December this year.

In total more than 103,000 homes and businesses in South Yorkshire are set to benefit from the programme by the end of the 2017.

To celebrate the ‘switch on’ the Superfast South Yorkshire team is holding four events over the next two days with the first kicking off in Dinnington, Rotherham this morning.This will be followed by an event Highfields in Sheffield, Fall Bank Industrial Estate in Barnsley and on Wheatley Hall Road in Doncaster.

Matt Gladstone, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council executive director for Place, who has senior responsibility for Superfast South Yorkshire said: “Superfast South Yorkshire is off to a fantastic start and it’s great to hear that the first homes and businesses can now benefit from this roll-out even sooner than expected.

“Faster broadband speeds are good for business, good for the local community and will undoubtedly be good for our local economy.

“The success of this programme is not only getting the technology in the ground but also driving awareness of the benefits offered by fibre broadband and encouraging local people to experience them for themselves. I would ask everyone to find out what faster broadband speeds can do for them.”

Digital Economy Minister, Ed Vaizey, said: "I'm delighted that the Superfast South Yorkshire programme is off to such a great start, with the first cabinets going live five months ahead of schedule. Our nationwide rollout of superfast broadband is now reaching another 40,000 homes and businesses every week, and we are on track to reach 95 per cent of the UK by 2017."

In September last year South Yorkshire joined forces with BT in a £22 million deal to extend the availability of high-speed, fibre broadband to around 981 per cent of homes and businesses in the city region. The project is jointly funded by the four South Yorkshire local authorities of Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster2, the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) fund and BT.The project will build upon BT’s commercial roll-out which has already made fibre broadband available more than 451,000 homes and businesses across South Yorkshire.

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said: “Fibre broadband enables everyone to do things differently and better. For some it’s a leap of faith to switch from first generation broadband to the new fibre optic technology, but as those local people who are already using it will testify, upgrading is easy and worth doing for a far superior experience.

“The Openreach network is open to all broadband service providers – which helps to drive competition and affordable prices. In fact, fibre broadband is now almost the same price as basic broadband so I would urge anyone who can get fibre to place an order from their internet provider superfast.”

The majority of South Yorkshire premises will be getting access to some of the best broadband speeds boosting the competitiveness of local firms and offering new ways of flexible working, entertainment and learning opportunities for local residents.

Fibre broadband enables multiple users in a home or business to access the internet, more quickly than ever before. The benefits of faster broadband speeds for businesses are considerable and include faster file and data transfers, better access to cloud computing services and software, more sophisticated web-based contact with customers and support for more flexible working.

The increased speeds are also of great value to families. Everyone in the family can do their own thing online, all at the same time, whether it’s downloading music in minutes or watching catch-up TV; streaming HD or 3D movies in a few minutes; or posting photos and videos to social networking sites in seconds. It will also improve access to new job opportunities, and make it easier to shop around for services.

The high-speed network installed by BT’s local network business, Openreach, is available on an open, wholesale basis to all communication providers, therefore offering South Yorkshire households and businesses the benefit of real choice from a highly competitive market.

For further information on the Superfast South Yorkshire programme visit http://www.superfastsouthyorkshire.co.uk