01
March
2016
|
16:36
Europe/Amsterdam

Wirral high-speed broadband hits a century after £2m investment

Summary
100th new high-speed fibre broadband street cabinet for Wirral goes live in Upton
  • 100th new high-speed fibre broadband street cabinet for Wirral goes live in Upton
  • Part of Wirral Council’s Growth plan to get local economy booming
  • Represents an investment of more than £2m

Even more local businesses and homes are set to benefit from faster internet connections, with the 100th part publicly funded high-speed fibre broadband street cabinet in Wirral now complete. The milestone cab in Church Road, Upton is part of the Merseyside Connected scheme to bring high-speed broadband to the county.

Representing an investment of over £2m in the borough, the scheme has made faster fibre-based broadband services available to an additional 11,300 Wirral premises.

Cllr Phil Davies, Leader of Wirral Council, said: “Wirral’s advanced superfast broadband infrastructure will help local businesses improve performance, and provide ideal conditions for creating and safeguarding jobs.

“The investment in technology infrastructure is part of the Wirral Growth Plan, and an essential ingredient for our economic growth.’

The Wirral Growth Plan sets out the council’s goals to attract £250 million of new private sector investment into Wirral by 2020, create 250 new businesses, generate and safeguard 5,000 jobs, and build 3,500 new homes.

Mike Blackburn, BT’s regional director for the North West, said: “I am delighted that our 100th fibre cabinet on the Wirral means more businesses and residents can take advantage of the benefits that fast internet speeds bring.

“More than 117,000 Wirral households and businesses now have access to high-speed fibre broadband as a result of Merseyside Connected and BT’s commercial programme and we are continuing with the roll-out so that many more users can access these benefits each week.”

Fast and reliable broadband is now as important as good road and rail links for businesses to succeed in the modern world. For local businesses, the new fibre network is essential to their success. It underpins the introduction of many innovative new services and applications that can help improve their operations, including new ‘cloud’ services, large data transfers and storage.

New fibre services available with superfast broadband are also transforming the way local homes use the internet, from the faster downloads and the quick sharing of pictures and video to enjoying the growing boom in entertainment services available online.

Wirral Council is part of the £15 million Merseyside Connected scheme, a partnership of five local councils set up to improve access to high speed broadband networks for homes and businesses.

The scheme is now in the last phase of roll out by BT and is on course to be completed by June 2016. Engineers for Openreach, BT’s local network business, are building the new fibre infrastructure, which will be open to all communications providers on an equivalent basis. Funding for the scheme has come from BT, the European Regional Development Fund and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK fund as well as the five local councils

To find out if residents or businesses can upgrade to fibre broadband they need to speak to their service provider, they will not automatically be upgraded. There are more than 140 fibre broadband providers operating in the UK.

Ends

For more information on Merseyside Connected see www.merseysideconnected.org

Follow Wirral Council on Twitter: www.twitter.com/WirralCouncil

For further information contact Jan Leslie, Press Officer, Wirral Council, 0151 691 8232

Or Janet Hare in the BT North West Regional Press Office
Tel: Direct when phoning from the NW 0800 085 0660. If phoning from outside the NW ring 01244 316 417 Email: janet.hare@bt.com

Notes to editor:

1. BT was been chosen to partner with Wirral Council – along with Liverpool, Knowsley, St Helens, and Sefton Councils - following an extensive and thorough procurement process.
2. BT is contributing £6 million towards the overall cost of deployment in “non-commercial” areas while European funding (ERDF) is contributing £4.4 million, with £5.46 million coming from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) fund.
3. 2016 will see £150m new investment in Wirral beyond fibre broadband that has already been announced or started, including:
• £30m Downtown Birkenhead redevelopment schemes, including Birkenhead Market and Europa Pools
• £20m investment in the Maritime Knowledge Hub
• £10 strategic infrastructure programs, including the replacement of one of the bridges on Tower Road South
• £25m Advanced Manufacturing Centre in Port Sunlight