Superfast Worcestershire spreads Christmas cheer by bringing broadband to Cotswold community

Carol singing children – and Father Christmas - serenade the 400th fibre broadband cabinet to go ‘live’ as part of Superfast Worcestershire. Nigel Huddleston MP has welcomed development. Superfast Worcestershire is led by Worcestershire County Council and BT, and is part of the Government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

The Superfast Worcestershire partnership – led by Worcestershire County Council and BT – is bringing some early Christmas cheer to Broadway.

The partnership – which is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme – has made faster fibre broadband available to around 50 additional local homes and businesses in the Cotswold community.

Father Christmas, Nigel Huddleston MP and carol singing youngsters joined representatives from the broadband partnership to spread some seasonal cheer and to mark the arrival of faster fibre broadband in the Smallbrook Road area of Broadway.

Pupils from Broadway First School led carol singing around the new fibre broadband cabinet in Leamington Road, which is the 400th to go ‘live’ as part of Superfast Worcestershire.

The MP for Mid Worcestershire welcomed the news. He said: “Superfast broadband has been delivered to this part of Broadway in time for Christmas not by Santa’s sleigh but by Superfast Worcestershire. This is a great Christmas present for local residents.”

Worcestershire County Councillor Liz Eyre said: “This is excellent news, just in time for Christmas, for more residents and businesses in Broadway who will now be able to make the most of the many benefits of faster fibre broadband.

"Having a fast and reliable connection improves the quality of life of our residents and enables local companies to compete on a level playing field.”

Councillor Ken Pollock, cabinet member responsible for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure, said: "The importance of improving Worcestershire's digital infrastructure is recognised in our recently launched plan 'Shaping Worcestershire's Future'. Chancellor Philip Hammond's Autumn Statement also outlines further investment worth over £1 billion for digital infrastructure, including 5G trials, which may provide opportunities to further improve connectivity in Worcestershire."

Upgrades do not happen automatically. People wanting to benefit from fibre broadband need to order it from their chosen communications provider. Because the network is being installed by Openreach – BT’s local network business – households and businesses can choose from a wide range of fibre broadband companies.

Ian Binks, BT’s regional manager for Worcestershire and the West Midlands, said: “At this busy time of the year, we rely on the internet more than ever to get things done. Whether it’s working from home, running a business, doing homework or internet shopping – everything is easier and faster with fibre broadband.

“More than 62,000 households and businesses across the county can now access faster fibre broadband as a result of Superfast Worcestershire. The figure rises to around 245,000 premises when combined with additional commercial investment by BT, and the number is rising all the time.”

More than 2,200 households and businesses in the Broadway area are now able to access faster fibre broadband as a result of the Superfast Worcestershire roll-out.

Other communities to benefit from the partnership recently include parts of Great Witley and Hallow, Hanbury, Ombersley, Rock, Wolverley and more of Worcester city centre.

Anyone wanting more information about the Superfast Worcestershire roll-out can log onto: www.superfastworcestershire.com


Note to Editors

The Superfast Worcestershire roll-out is using a mixture of technologies. These include Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC), which provides download speeds of up to 80Mbps and download speeds of up to 20Mbps, and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP), which provides speeds up to 330Mbps and upload speeds of up to 30Mbps. In addition there are some premises that are currently connected directly to the telephone exchange rather than via a green roadside cabinet, sometimes known as Exchange Only (EO) lines. In order to connect EO lines, further roadside cabinets have to be installed.

Speeds referred to are the top wholesale speeds available from BT’s local network business, Openreach, to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

Press contacts:

Issued on behalf of Superfast Worcestershire by Worcestershire County Council and BT.

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


Emma Tennant at the BT regional press office on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.com Twitter: @EmmaTennantBT

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) programme. In the first phase 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.

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

    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 180 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 of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

    For the year ended 31 March 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m.

    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