Worcestershire residents enjoy sweet success after hatching deal to get superfast broadband

They say every cloud has a silver lining and nowhere is this more true than for a group of residents on the new Silverwoods housing estate in Kidderminster. Around 210 households on the site of a former sugar factory are looking forward to getting superfast fibre broadband after thinking they might be left in the information slow lane. Mark Garnier MP has welcomed the co-funding initiative.

They say every cloud has a silver lining and nowhere is this more true than for a group of residents on the new Silverwoods housing estate in Kidderminster.

Around 210 households on the site of a former sugar factory are looking forward to getting superfast fibre broadband after thinking they might be left in the information slow lane.

It follows a deal between housing developers – Bovis and Taylor Wimpey - and Openreach, the network business which is part of BT Group.

The co-funding partnership, which involves investment by Openreach and the developers, has been welcomed by Mark Garnier, MP for Wyre Forest, who stepped in after learning how this part of the estate was not part of any public or private sector fibre broadband upgrade plans.

Under the agreement, Openreach will install a new roadside fibre broadband cabinet and fibre optic cabling to enable the households to get broadband download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (Mbps) and downloads of up to 20Mpbs by the end of the year*.

Mark Garnier, MP for Wyre Forest, said: “After raising residents’ concerns on hearing of their inadequate broadband provision on this new housing development, I welcome this cross business initiative to ensure that families and businesses will now be able to access a broadband infrastructure fit for the 21st century”.

Robert Ellam, senior civil engineer at Bovis Homes, said: “With lots of families moving to Silverwoods, and more people wanting the option of working from home, it’s important residents have access to high-speed fibre broadband.”

James Watton, engineer at Taylor Wimpey, said: “We’re grateful to Openreach for working with us to find an appropriate solution that will result in around 210 households here having access to superfast fibre broadband.”

Steve Haines, Openreach’s managing director, said: “Partnerships like this help us to bring high-speed connections to areas that the private sector would have difficulty reaching alone.

“More than 92 per cent of the UK can access superfast speeds today, and we’re committed to making fibre broadband as widely available as possible in the UK. That’s why we’re investing in hundreds of community projects across the UK, working in partnership with business and residential communities to deliver faster speeds from a wide choice of competing internet service providers.

“I have no doubt that the residents of Silverwoods will see real benefits thanks to the faster connectivity and variety of services we’re delivering.”

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

Notes to Editors

*These are the top Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) wholesale speeds available from Openreach. Speeds from fibre providers may vary.

As part of ambitious plans to make ultrafast broadband speeds available to up to 12 million homes and businesses by the end of 2020, Openreach will now build Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) infrastructure for free for all new housing developments with 30[1] or more homes. This is dependent upon developers registering their site with Openreach and working together early in the building process.

FTTP is capable of delivering download speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) and upload speeds of up to 220Mbps.

Any developments with two or more homes will have access to the company’s existing or planned fibre infrastructure, either funded entirely by Openreach or with the help of developer co-funding where that’s needed. To find out more about the new scheme go to: https://www.ournetwork.openreach.co.uk/property-development.aspx


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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 580 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 2017, it reported revenues of £5.1bn.

For more information, visit openreach.co.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: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2017, BT Group’s reported revenue was £24,062m with reported profit before taxation of £2,354m.

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.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com

[1]Construction of Fibre to the Premises infrastructure (the ducting, poles and wires) will be carried out for free on developments of more than 30 premises. Standard connection and ongoing service provider charges will apply and excess construction charges will continue to apply where the site is more than 4.5 kilometres from Openreach’s existing fibre network.