26
June
2015
|
16:15
Europe/Amsterdam

Superfast Worcestershire passes the half-way mark with 30,000 county homes and businesses now having access to high-speed broadband

Summary
More than 30,000 homes and businesses across the county are now able to access faster fibre broadband as part of the multi-million pound ‘Superfast Worcestershire’* programme, partners Worcestershire County Council and BT confirmed today.

Bishampton, Chaddesley Corbett, Elmley Castle, Hanley Swan, Hartlebury, Wythall, and Upton Snodsbury are among latest communities to benefit from multi-million pound roll-out of fibre broadband;

More than 30,000 homes and businesses across the county are now able to access faster fibre broadband as part of the multi-million pound ‘Superfast Worcestershire’* programme, partners Worcestershire County Council and BT confirmed today.

The latest communities to get high-speed fibre broadband for the first time include parts of Chaddesley Corbett, Elmley Castle, Hanley Swan, Hartlebury, Wythall, Upton on Severn and Upton Snodsbury.

In addition, the high-speed technology has recently been made more widely available in parts of Badsey, Belbroughton, Cropthorne, Eckington, Fernhill Heath, Hillside and Kempsey.

The achievement marks just over the half-way point* in the project and comes around a year after the partnership began connecting the first premises in the county.

Broadwas-based Steaves Shirts is one of the many county businesses already benefiting from the Superfast Worcestershire roll-out which is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

The company, which was founded more than 30 years ago, is run by husband and wife Steve and Anna Marshall. They upgraded the firm to high-speed broadband in April.

Anna said: “We work with large artwork files on a regular basis. We hadn’t realised quite how much quicker fibre was – the speeds that we can now download files are quite astonishing!”

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said: “The Superfast Worcestershire programme has made fantastic progress to reach this important milestone, bringing high-speed fibre broadband to some of the most challenging areas in the county. The programme shows the power of the public and private sectors working together.

“This new technology is providing a major boost for local households and businesses in Worcestershire, whether they are using it to work more efficiently and find new customers or for online learning and leisure – everything is quicker and better with faster fibre broadband.”

Councillor Simon Geraghty, Worcestershire County Council, said: “The Superfast Worcestershire programme continues to go from strength-to-strength, with more homes and business than ever before able to access faster fibre broadband in communities up and down the county. As we mark the half way point, I am delighted that the project continues to be on budget and ahead of schedule."

Local people wanting updates on the fibre roll-out can visit the Superfast Worcestershire website at: www.superfastworcestershire.com and register for further updates, visit the Facebook page and join the conversation on Twitter @SuperfastWorcs.

Residents and businesses choosing to upgrade will be able to get download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (80Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps**. Because the Openreach network is ‘open’, people can choose from a wide range of broadband service providers, of which more than 140 are currently operating in the UK.

During the Superfast Worcestershire roll-out, more than 720 kilometres of fibre optic cable and around 350 new street-side cabinets will be installed.

--ends--

Notes to Editors

About Superfast Worcestershire:

*Superfast Worcestershire is a partnership between Worcestershire County Council, BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme. In the phase scheduled to end in June 2016, which is due to reach 57,000 premises, Worcestershire County Council is contributing up to £8.5 million, with an additional £8.9 million from BT, and a further £4.45 million from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds through the Superfast Britain initiative (please see below) to make a total of £21.85 million.

A further contract to extend the programme was signed in March 2015 to increase the percentage of homes and businesses able to access fibre-based broadband in Worcestershire to more than 95 per cent when the private sector’s commercial roll-out of the technology is included. The total amount of funding available for the extension to the programme is £6.2 million, comprising £2.39 million grant funding each from the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) fund and the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership through the Government's Growth Deal, and £1.42 million from BT to make a total of £6.2 million.

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

About Superfast Britain

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department for 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:

  1. £790m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017;
  2. £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities; and
  3. £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