Thirteen additional villages to benefit from fibre broadband

Just over 2000 premises (homes and businesses) across thirteen Rutland villages are the latest to benefit from the rollout of high-speed fibre broadband as part of the Digital Rutland project. 

Households and businesses in Ashwell, Barleythorpe, Barrowden, Caldecott, Clipsham, Empingham, Exton, Greetham, Market Overton, Preston, Stocken, Whissendine and Wing are now able to place an order for fibre broadband. More than half of Empingham now has access to fibre broadband, with more households and businesses in the village to follow in the near future. These latest upgrades bring the total number of premises in Rutland able to sign up to fibre broadband, thanks to Digital Rutland, to just over 5400. 

Deputy Leader of Rutland County Council, Councillor Terry King said: “This is certainly the busiest phase of the project so far with more and more communities able to connect to fibre broadband every week. If you live in an area that has been ‘switched on’, all you need to do is contact your current Internet Service Provider (ISP) and ask them about fibre broadband packages. It’s even better news if you are not tied to a contract, as you can choose from any ISP and get the best deal possible for fibre broadband.” 

Councillor King added: “We are also continuing to focus our attention on the parts of the county where high speed broadband presents more of a challenge. In particular, we are looking closely at communities located a considerable distance from their exchange, and this includes some villages that find themselves on the edge of the private sector’s commercial rollout of fibre broadband. Although State Aid rules prevent the council from upgrading these areas under the Digital Rutland project, we are doing everything we can to assist communities to achieve the best possible solutions for their areas.” 

Councillor King went on to say: “We’ve known from the outset that some areas will present more of a challenge than others and we have now identified four communities (Glaston, Whitwell, Barrow & Teigh) that will need further work. It is looking very likely that subject to detailed surveys these will be enabled in mid 2014. We’re determined to get the best possible solution for some of the smaller communities where we will want to use the latest technology available.Connection to these areas is therefore likely be after these four villages.” 

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director, next generation access, said: “This investment in fibre broadband will boost the local economy and help to create or protect local jobs in communities across the whole of Rutland. It will be of enormous benefit to local businesses which can use the faster speeds to improve their competitiveness both within the UK and abroad.” 

During the next few months, the majority of homes and businesses in Rutland will get access to high-speed fibre broadband through the Digital Rutland project and as part of BT’s commercial plans. 

All ten telephone exchanges located in Rutland are being upgraded meaning the great majority of the 17,000 homes and businesses within the county will then have access to high-speed fibre broadband from an internet provider of their choice. The new network is available on an open, wholesale basis to all companies offering broadband services. 

High-speed fibre broadband will provide local businesses with better access to technology, such as cloud computing, as well as making flexible working easier, whilst residents can utilise the faster download speeds when using social media, catch up TV or when downloading music. 

Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC), which is capable of delivering speeds of up to 80Mbps, will be the main technology deployed and will be rolled out first. Even faster fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology, offering speeds of up to 330Mbps, will also be available “on demand” in FTTC areas, over time. 

Digital Rutland is funded by Rutland County Council, BT and BDUK (Department for Culture, Media & Sport.) 

BT was chosen by the Council following an extensive and thorough selection process. 

To find out which Cabinet your home is connected to, or for more information about the Digital Rutland project visit www.rutland.gov.uk/digitalrutland. 

Notes to Editors 

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 the 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