07
March
2017
|
18:34
Europe/Amsterdam

Thousands more Worcestershire households and businesses to get fibre broadband boost thanks to £3.7 million expansion

Summary
Communities in all of Worcestershire's six districts are set to benefit from the multi-million pound expansion of Superfast Worcestershire; meanwhile Government Minister, Matt Hancock, has hailed the high demand for fibre broadband in the county.

The Superfast Worcestershire broadband partnership has announced a major £3.7 million expansion that will enable around 3,000 more households and businesses in some of the county’s smallest communities to get superfast broadband for the first time.

Additional communities across all six districts in Worcestershire have been earmarked for upgrades as part of the multi-million pound roll-out, lead partners Worcestershire County Council and BT announced today.

They include parts of Wickhamford, Throckmorton, Wick, Heightington, Teme Valley including Eardiston and Stockton on Teme, Holt Fleet, Shelsley Beauchamp and Berrow Green.

The upgrade work will begin in 2017 and take approximately 18 months to complete.

It is being funded by a combination of efficiencies and BT investing new funds as well as some reinvestment of earlier funding under the terms of a ‘Gainshare’ mechanism in the contract, triggered by strong take up of fibre broadband. Nearly 40 per cent of county households and premises able to upgrade to the new technology have already chosen to do so.

The wide-ranging benefits of fibre broadband include:

  • High quality, speedy online access when connecting several devices to the internet at the same time;
  • Playing games, streaming music and watching catch-up television without any buffering;
  • Using the internet for homework, shopping and other services more quickly and easily;
  • Being able to quickly share large files and photos via email and over the internet.

A map indicating the new areas expected to benefit will be added to www.superfastworcestershire.com. The postcode checker on the website, which people can use to find out if their postcode is included in the roll-out, will be updated in the coming weeks.

Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Matt Hancock, said: "Nine out of ten homes and businesses in the UK can now get superfast broadband, and we are reaching thousands more every week. I'm delighted that the high take-up rate in Worcestershire means that there is now extra funding that will help us reach another 3,000 more properties across the county."

Councillor Ken Pollock, Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure, said: "The Superfast Worcestershire partnership has made a huge difference to people and businesses across the county. They are better connected and able to access greater opportunities. Now, the partnership is taking superfast coverage even further than we had originally envisaged. This latest announcement shows the commitment of the partnership to ensuring that Worcestershire is connected. It is great news that more people will be able to benefit from the new communications technology that is often taken for granted by those who already have access to superfast speeds."

Ian Binks, BT’s Regional Manager for Worcestershire and the West Midlands, said: “Around 248,000 households and businesses across the county can now access superfast fibre broadband as a result of Superfast Worcestershire and private sector investment by companies like BT – and we are determined to go further. BT is committed to making superfast broadband as widely available as possible.

“Whether you’re working from home, doing homework or online shopping, everything is easier and faster with fibre broadband.”

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 – local households and businesses can choose from a wide range of companies offering competitive fibre broadband products and services.

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

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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 upload speeds of up to 20Mbps, and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP), which is capable of delivering download speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) and upload speeds of up to 220Mbps. 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

Or

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: Global Services, Business and Public Sector, Consumer, EE, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

    For the year ended 31 March 20161, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,012m with reported profit before taxation of £2,907m.

    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.

    1The results for the period have been revised to reflect the outcome of the investigation into our Italian business. Detail of which is set out in our third quarter results announcement published on 27 January 2017. This financial information is unaudited.

    For more information, visit www.btplc.com

    All BT news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.btplc.com/News

    About Openreach

    Openreach is the UK’s leading digital infrastructure provider.

    Its 32,000 employees are responsible for building and maintaining millions of miles of fibre and copper cables that connect every home and business in the UK to local telephone exchanges. Openreach operates and maintains this network to deliver a range of wholesale services for more than 560 retail providers, who in-turn provide telephony, broadband, TV and data services to more than 30 million consumer and business customers throughout the country.

    Openreach is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of its revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom. Any company can access its products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions.

    Over the last decade, Openreach has invested more than £10bn into its network and is currently building the UK’s largest fibre broadband footprint. This technology is available to more than 26 million homes and businesses, with tens of thousands more gaining access each week.Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group. For the year ended 31 March 2016, it reported revenues of £5.1bn. For more information, visit openreach.co.uk