Superfast Worcestershire announces next communities to benefit from superfast broadband roll-out

More than 8,000 more homes and businesses across Worcestershire set to benefit from expansion of faster fibre broadband programme; People in Arley, Cotheridge and Spetchley will get new technology for the first time; Digital Economy Minister hails pace of superfast roll-out

Superfast Worcestershire, the partnership between Worcestershire County Council and BT spearheading the fibre broadband roll-out, today announced the parts of the county to benefit first from major expansion plans.

More than 8,000 additional households and businesses across Worcestershire will get access to the technology as a result of the multi-million pound ‘Superfast Extension Programme’.

It will enable people in Arley, Cotheridge and Spetchley to access faster fibre broadband for the first time.

The expansion will also make the new technology more widely available in communities, which already have some fibre broadband. They are Ashton-under-Hill, Badsey, Belbroughton, Broadway, Bishampton, Blakedown, Chaddesley Corbett, Clows Top, Great Witley, Hallow, Hartlebury, Harvington, Kidderminster, Ombersley, Peopleton, Pershore, Rock, Wolverley and Worcester.

The new programme will start to ‘go live’ in these communities from the Summer, following the completion of the first phase of the Superfast Worcestershire Programme, which is making faster fibre broadband available to around 60,000 premises in the county.

The expansion programme will be finished by Autumn 2017, taking the percentage of county households and businesses able to access the technology to 95 per cent. This has been made possible due to additional investment of £6.2 million, comprising £2.39 million each from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme and the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership - through the Government’s Growth Deal - and £1.42m from BT bringing the entire Superfast Worcestershire programme to approximately £28 million.

Ed Vaizey, Digital Economy Minister, said: "Our roll-out of superfast broadband has already reached an extra 3.5 million premises so far, and around 50,000 in Worcestershire alone. We're on track to reach 95 per cent of the country by 2017, and I'm delighted that the extra funding means another 8,000 homes and businesses in Worcestershire will be able to access superfast speeds."

Councillor Ken Pollock, Worcestershire County Council cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, said: "I am very pleased to hear that these communities will benefit from this extra broadband roll-out being announced today.

"More homes and businesses in these areas will now be able to access improved broadband speeds more quickly. This is great news to ensure that we remain competitive and ensure that Worcestershire continues to be a world class place to do business."

Gary Woodman, Executive director of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “This technology is vital to ensure that our businesses can compete on a global scale. Extending the availability of Superfast Broadband was, therefore, prioritised for funding through the Worcestershire Growth Deal and today’s announcement is great news for a number of communities. I would encourage all businesses and residents to register to be kept updated so that they can sign up to obtain faster broadband speeds at the earliest opportunity.”

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said: "We are committed to extending the reach of faster fibre broadband further so even households and businesses in some of the most remote parts of the county will be able to benefit. It’s a huge engineering programme, but our project teams are working hard to ensure more communities can reap the benefits of this exciting technology, which is revolutionising the way people work, learn, pay their bills, and enjoy their leisure time. Everything is easier, faster and better with fibre broadband.”

Superfast Worcestershire is being rolled out by engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network company. It’s an opt-in service - upgrades do not happen automatically. Anyone opting for an upgrade has a choice offibre broadband providers, of which more than 140 are currently operating in the UK.

For more information about when faster broadband is coming to an area and how to get it, log onto www.superfastworcestershire.com

Additional communities to benefit from the Superfast Extension Programme will be announced later this year.


For more information please call Worcestershire County Council on 01905 766642 or 01905 766646 or email commsunit@worcestershire.gov.uk.

Alternatively you can contact Emma Tennant at the BT regional press office on 0800 085 0660 or email emma.tennant@bt.com All BT news releases are available at http://www.btplc.com/News

About Superfast Worcestershire

Superfast Worcestershire is a partnership between Worcestershire County Council, BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), which began making faster fibre broadband connections available to the first homes and businesses in May 2014.

Those who register on the Superfast Worcestershire website will need to enter a phone number and postcode to receive information and updates at a local level. Those who registered their demand will continue to be kept up to date on the programme and have the option of registering again to receive more local updates.

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

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of five customer-facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2015, BT Group’s reported revenue was £17,979mwith reported profit before taxation of £2,645m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com.