Tameside launched into new digital age and heads for the top twenty

More than 1,500 homes and business can now hook up with a new digital future after a high speed broadband network was officially launched in Tameside.

The rollout of fibre broadband, the new technology that can transform home and work, was off the starting blocks in Hyde when BT and council chiefs switched on the first green street cabinet.

By March 2016 almost 6,000 firms and homes will be able to link to the network. The turn on is part of the Get Digital Faster programme, delivered across eight council areas* by Transport for Greater Manchester [TfGM] in partnership with BT.
Tameside Council’s First Deputy, Cllr Jim Fitzpatrick, said the switch on was just the start of a new future for the borough.

Cllr Fitzpatrick, said: “I’m delighted that Tameside is now starting to roll out high-speed broadband across the borough, which means we will now be able to feel the benefits of the Get Digital Faster programme. Although it is a new project, BT has been busy installing these new cabinets all over the borough, so already, along with our Greater Manchester colleagues we are taking significant steps towards making our county one of the world’s top 20 digital areas by the end of the decade.”

Tony Morgan, who is playing a leading part in the rollout of the Get Digital Faster programme said the dedicated group of partners had combined their efforts to make it all possible. Eventually the network will cover 99.4 per cent of the eight-council area when combined with the commercial rollout by various companies including BT.

Tony Morgan, BT’s Greater Manchester Client Director, said: “Businesses and homes in Tameside can now join the high speed network age, giving them access to new opportunities for their firms and their families. At work and at home people have the chance to link up to a more connected community thanks to the hard work of Openreach engineers and Wigan Council. The additional funds from Broadband Delivery UK, the European Regional Development Fund and the coordination from the Transport for Greater Manchester team will ensure the job gets done.”

Residents and businesses in Tameside can look forward to download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps**.

This will bring benefits to homes and businesses alike. Businesses will be able to conduct their transactions more quickly and efficiently and households will be able to surf the internet, download large files of information, upload photographs, and download music, films and television programmes all at the same time, and more quickly than ever before,

The Get Digital Faster programme, launched in June last year, has already delivered high-speed broadband access for 16,000 across Greater Manchester.

The North West European Regional Development Fund has provided £4.9 million, BT £4.6 million, £3 million is from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) initiative and local councils (Trafford, Stockport, Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Tameside and Wigan) £2.5 million. The Get Digital Faster programme is being delivered by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and BT on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

The programme also links into a Business Growth Hub***, which along with local councils will provide businesses with the skills and expertise making the most of the opportunities a sophisticated broadband network will provide.
Work on the Get Digital Faster project is well underway across the region. Engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, are laying around 400 kilometres of optical fibre cable – the equivalent of twice around the Greater Manchester boundary - and installing a total of around 500 new fibre broadband cabinets throughout the area. It is estimated that 150 people involved in delivery will complete more than 500,000 staff hours of work planning and building the network during the lifetime of the project.

The Openreach network is open to all broadband service providers on an equal wholesale basis. When an area has gone ‘live’ for fibre, people need to opt for an upgrade from a choice of fibre broadband providers, with more than 140 now operating in the UK.
Residents or businesses who want to find out more about Get Digital Faster can visit www.get-digital.info


Photo caption: High-speed link up across Tameside – left to right: [at the back] Ian Birleson, Programme Manager, Transport for Greater Manchester; Tony Gaffey, Openreach engineer; Cllr Jim Fitzpatrick, Tameside Council.

Press contacts: Graham Taylor, Media Manager, BT NW Press Office 0800 085 0660 email: graham.2.taylor@bt.com or Darrell Beck, Tameside Council 0161 342 3905 email: darrell.beck@tameside.gov.uk

1. *The Get Digital Faster project is part financed by the North West European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013.
The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit

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

3. *** Established in 2011 the Business Growth Hub has helped thousands of businesses across Greater Manchester, from established and large companies to start-ups and SME enterprises. Accountable to the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, the Business Growth Hub’s challenge is to ensure that companies across Greater Manchester reach their full potential and are able to access the right support and services to meet their needs.