Work to start on broadband plan to bring Nottinghamshire up to speed

Almost 11,000 homes and businesses across Nottinghamshire will be the first to benefit from the £20m Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire (BBfN) programme, led by the County Council and BT. 

Work will start on the first phase of the high-speed broadband rollout in Arnold (Gedling) and Misterton during April 2014. A full list of locations to be included in the first phase can be found below. 

This is the beginning of an intensive programme of work that will see over one million metres of fibre optic cable laid and the installation of 2,500 fibre distribution points across the county. 

By the time the programme is completed in 2016, 95% of homes and businesses in the county will have access to the high-speed fibre network making Nottinghamshire one of the best digitally connected counties in the country. 

The locations being upgraded as part of phase one will bring fibre-based broadband to some, but not necessarily all properties in the area served by that exchange. Most exchange areas will be included in more than one phase of the rollout, with new groups of properties being added to those able to access fibre-based broadband as the programme progresses. 

Work is expected to start in the following locations during these months : 

April 2014: Arnold, Misteron 
May 2014: Bilsthorpe, Farnsfield, Trentside, Collingham, Sutton-on-Trent, Newark, Southwell, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Sutton-in-Ashfield. 
June 2014:, Mansfield , Woodborough, Bingham, Burton Joyce, Cotgrave, Radcliffe-on-Trent, Ruddington, Saunby 
July 2014:,East Leake, Lowdham, Blyth, Sandiacre, Worksop, 

The complexity of the network design and build means that in some cases it can take several months for an upgrade to take place, with the first services expected to be available from July 2014. 

The County Council is recruiting a team of digital champions to help promote the benefits of the internet, point people in the right direction to improve their online skills, and raise awareness in their local community about exactly when and where access to the upgraded broadband network is available. There has been a fantastic response to the Council’s appeal to become Digital Champions but if you would like to join the team in your area please email enquiries.broadband@nottscc.gov.uk 

Councillor Diana Meale, Chair of Economic Development Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “I am thrilled that we are now at the stage of being able to announce the areas of the county to benefit from phase one of the Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire programme and that we are only a matter of weeks away from work starting within local communities. 

“Being a better connected county is critical to our plans for economic growth and the creation of new jobs. Access to broadband will revolutionise the way that thousands of Nottinghamshire people communicate, get information, watch TV, do their homework or sell their products by instantly connecting them with the rest of the world. 

“Best of all, Nottinghamshire will be ahead of the game. The delivery of our programme in partnership with Europe, the UK Government and local district and borough Councils makes it unique and means that the roll out of broadband in our county will result in Nottinghamshire being one of the best digitally connected areas of the UK – putting us in an extremely strong position to attract inward investment.” 

Owen Moody, BT’s regional director for the East Midlands said: “After weeks of meticulous planning and hard work we are delighted to reveal the first locations that will benefit from this ambitious project. This investment in fibre broadband will boost the local economy and help to create or protect local jobs. 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.” 

Further information about BBfN is available from www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/broadband - where information about the programme’s progress being added all the time.