Superfast Staffordshire delivers fibre broadband boost for Lichfield

Superfast Staffordshire – the multi-million pound high-speed broadband partnership - has delivered a major boost for Lichfield.

Thanks to Superfast Staffordshire, around 400 premises in Lichfield not previously enabled by the private sector’s commercial roll-out are now able to access faster fibre broadband for the first time. Areas of Lichfield that the project has been able to extend fibre to include parts of the city centre, Leomansley, Pipehill and Streethay.

This follows the installation of around 2,500 metres of fibre optic cable and four new road-side cabinets by engineers from Openreach, BT’s network company.
As a result of this additional investment by Superfast Staffordshire, more than 15,000 homes and businesses in Lichfield are now able to get download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps*.

This marks another major milestone for the ambitious project. Last month, Yoxall and Kings Bromley became the first villages to get high-speed fibre broadband as part of Superfast Staffordshire – the £27.87 million partnership between Staffordshire County Council, BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

As the Openreach network is available on an open wholesale basis to all broadband service providers, Staffordshire people wanting to upgrade are able to choose from a wide variety of different fibre providers, ensuring competitive prices.

Staffordshire County Councillor, Mark Winnington, said: “More communities are seeing the benefit of superfast broadband as the roll-out of our programme gathers pace. Following the installation of the first cabinet for Yoxall and Kings Bromley, around 400 properties in parts of Lichfield will now be able to access it – broadening their opportunities in education, employment, leisure and more.

“We made a major investment in the Superfast Broadband programme as we saw it as essential infrastructure and were not prepared to see Staffordshire fall behind. This is helping to improve our economy and increase connections for everyone in the county. It’s just the start of the roll-out but we’re pleased to see it taking shape already.”

“Many businesses and families in Lichfield are already enjoying the many benefits of high-speed fibre broadband, so it’s great that our partnership with Superfast Staffordshire is making this technology accessible to many more. Whether it’s improving the way firms stay in touch with their customers and suppliers, or helping students do their homework and enjoy their leisure time – whatever you do online is better and easier with fibre broadband.”

Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for broadband partnerships, added: “The news for Lichfield demonstrates that Superfast Staffordshire is truly countywide. Some parts of the city already have fibre but additional work under the project has helped to push up the number of homes and businesses in the city with access to fibre to around 90 per cent.

“Superfast broadband will revolutionise the way we all use the internet, opening up incredible new opportunities for businesses, communities and individuals. It will broaden horizons for everyone, unlocking the full potential of the internet so we can all achieve more.”

During the Superfast Staffordshire roll-out, more than one million metres of fibre optic cable and around 500 new street-side cabinets will be installed to connect people to the new network across the county. This partnership roll-out is in addition to BT’s commercial programme that will have enabled more than 370,000 county premises by the end of 2014.

The combined investment from Superfast Staffordshire, BT’s and other private sector programmes will mean 97 per cent of homes and businesses across the county will have access to fibre broadband by Spring 2016.
Updates on the roll-out of Superfast Staffordshire are available on the programme

website: http://www.superfaststaffordshire.co.uk and also on twitter: @superfaststaffs

Notes to Editors

*These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers: speeds offered by other service providers may vary.

For more information please contact Tom Hobbins at the Staffordshire County Council press office on 01785 276832 or email: tom.hobbins@staffordshire.gov.uk
Emma Tennant at the BT regional press office on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.com

All BT news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.bt.com/newscentre

About Superfast Staffordshire
Superfast Staffordshire is a partnership between Staffordshire County Council, BDUK and BT. Superfast Staffordshire is building on the commercial roll-out to bring fibre-based broadband to 97 per cent of premises by Spring 2016.
The partnership is investing 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.)
For those premises not included in the fibre footprint, Superfast Staffordshire is aiming to improve broadband speeds using alternative technologies.
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