The New Year gets off to a superfast start for many residents in Northern Lincolnshire

Residents and businesses in Northern Lincolnshire have been able to kick-start their New Year with access to high-speed broadband three months ahead of schedule - thanks to the Northern Lincs Broadband project.

Over 25,000 households and businesses across North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire are now able to benefit from fibre broadband.

Alkborough, Barnetby, Burton-upon-Stather, Croxton, Elsham, Kirmington, Kirton-in-Lindsey, Ulcebyand Wootton have recently joined around 30 towns and villages the length and breadth of Northern Lincolnshire already enjoying superfast broadband speeds.

Most had originally been expected to ‘go live’ by the end of March.

By the end of the project in June 2015 the multi-million pound initiative will have made the new technology available to 31,000 properties.

Cllr Neil Poole, cabinet member for policy and resources, said: “Residents and businesses in Northern Lincolnshire have been waiting a long time to be able to access high-speed broadband, especially in rural areas. Thanks to the fantastic work carried out through our Northern Lincs Broadband project many more people can now access it - giving them a fantastic start to the New Year.

“It is great to see the project running as planned and even better that some areas are being connected to superfast broadband ahead of schedule. We have received some really positive feedback about what a difference high-speed broadband has made.”

In total NLBB will invest more than £7m to extend fibre broadband to reach over 92 per cent of Northern Lincolnshire. The programme builds on BT’s commercial investment of £2.5 billion to roll out fibre broadband to two-thirds of UK premises. This investment has already brought fibre broadband to thousands of homes and businesses in parts of Brigg, Scunthorpe, Grimsby, Scartho, Healing and Barton-upon-Humber.

Fibre broadband enables everyone in the family to do their own thing online, all at the same time. This is perfect timing for the New Year with people receiving gifts such as tablets, mobile phones and Smart TVs. Whether it’s downloading music in minutes or watching catch-up TV; streaming HD or 3D movies; or posting photos and videos to social networking sites in seconds, fibre broadband can do it all.

It will also improve access to new job opportunities, and make it easier to shop around online for cheaper services.
Matt Clarvis, of MJC Electrical based in Burton-upon-Stather, and his fiancée Zoe have been looking forward to the arrival of superfast broadband in the village. Matt said:

“Superfast broadband will be great for Burton. Not only will it give us faster access to the internet but it will also give residents greater choice of other internet packages currently not an option in the area. As a local businessman superfast broadband will increase efficiency no end. Anything which makes processes quicker is a bonus for me.

“We’re looking forward to being able to use Skype to contact friends who live in Australia and we’ll probably swap the TV package we have as we couldn’t get the one we wanted when we first moved to Burton. We also stream movies via the Xbox but it normally buffers for ages and we give up at peak times. I'll be able to work in the office upstairs whilst Zoe uses the iPad or the TV downstairs. It will be good to have all of those aspects improved.”

Tom Keeney, BT’s regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “It’s great news that we are set to start the New Year with even more people able to upgrade to faster broadband, allowing them to use all their new Christmas gadgets and devices to their full potential.

“Whatever you do on-line you can do it better with fibre broadband so we look forward to bringing this new technology to even more Northern Lincolnshire homes and businesses during 2015.”

High-speed broadband is supporting and helping many businesses across Northern Lincolnshire to develop. Mel Banham from Lindsey Lodge Hospice in Scunthorpe has seen a huge difference now the hospice has access to superfast broadband. It has changed the way various aspects of its charitable services are both delivered and supported.

He said: “With superfast broadband now in place it has helped Lindsey Lodge Hospice to get Wi-Fi installed so that patients, their families and visitors can enjoy the same internet access they have at home and can carry on life as they would normally. We have been lucky enough to secure funding from local estate agents Starkey and Brown who are sponsoring our Wi-Fi for a year.

“Superfast broadband also enables people to enjoy improved access speed to our website (www.lindseylodgehospice.org.uk) offering new features such as the virtual tour of the hospice kindly supplied by Chris Lynn Photography. We are also using social media to communicate which is a great way for people to find out more about the Hospice.

“Having faster and stronger internet access enables more people to donate through our website and it helps raise our profile. In turn helping us succeed with raising much-needed donations.”

The benefits of increased broadband speeds are considerable for all businesses. They can do much more in far less time such as speeding up file and data transfers, collaborating with colleagues and customers on conference or video calls, swapping their hardware and expensive software licenses for files, processing power and software from cloud computing. And importantly staff can work as effectively from home as they would in the office.

Northern Lincs Broadband has developed a free programme of business support to help eligible small businesses to save time, money and improve efficiency. The programme of dedicated IT specialists and business advisors provides tailored support geared towards maximising the benefits of improved connectivity.

So far the Northern Lincolnshire Broadband Business Support team has provided 2,400 hours of support to 420 local businesses across the area. 127 businesses have completed the full programme.

A variety of workshops and one-to-one support is still available to eligible businesses to help them save time, money and improve efficiency. The team of technology specialists and business advisors provide tailored support geared towards maximising the benefits of faster connectivity. Businesses can find out more by calling 01724 297752 or email nlbb@northlincs.gov.uk.

Cllr Poole added: “Our business support is still on-going so you have time to take advantage of this great opportunity. The team will help you identify ways of improving your business and utilising the faster connectivity. Get in touch with them today and find out how your business can develop.”

For up to date information on available business support and the project visit: www.northlincs.gov.uk/jobs-business-regen/business-information-and-advice/northern-lincolnshire-broadband-project/ or www.investinnorthlincs.co.uk.

Notes to Editors:
Areas that have already benefitted from superfast broadband include:
Alkborough, Ashby-cum-Fenby, Barnetby, Barnoldby-le-Beck, Barrow, Barton, Belton, Brigg, Brigsley, Broughton, Cleethorpes, Croxton, Elsham, East Halton, Epworth, Goxhill, Great Coates, Grimsby, Humberston, Immingham, Kirmington, Kirton, Laceby, Messingham, New Holland, New Waltham, North Killingholme, Scartho, Scawby, Scawby Brook, Scunthorpe, South Ferriby, South Killingholme, Ulceby, Waltham, Winteringham, Winterton and Worlaby.

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 Northern Lincs Broadband

The Northern Lincs Broadband Programme is part financed by the 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 www.communities.gov.uk/erdf.