Yate and Old Sodbury home and businesses switch on to superfast broadband

Businesses and residents in parts of Yate and rural Old Sodbury are celebrating the early arrival of superfast fibre broadband. 

As part of the multi-million pound Great Western Broadband partnership between South Gloucestershire Council, Wiltshire Council and BT, the street cabinets which serve the North Road area of Yate and residential premises in Old Sodbury have been selected to ‘go live’ on Super Switch-On Day (Wednesday 18 December). 

The £35.6 million project, which is also funded by the UK Government’s Superfast Britain programme, is rolling out fibre broadband to more challenging areas that fall outside the private sector’s commercial plans. Super Switch-On Day is a national initiative which will see green fibre broadband cabinets in many parts of the country ‘going live’ simultaneously on Wednesday. 

Around 45 businesses in South Gloucestershire are set to benefit from this latest announcement as the selected cabinets serve the Stover Road business park. A number of residential properties in Old Sodbury will also have the chance to take advantage of the new technology straightaway and more will have the opportunity once the roll-out is complete 

By the end of March 2015, 94 per cent of premises in South Gloucestershire will have access to superfast speeds of 24Mbps and above*. Excellent progress has been made on the project so far. 

Over the past week new fibre cabinets have arrived in Wick and Pucklechurch, our first communities to be announced in the roll out, and these will be ready to accept orders next spring. This will be followed by residential and business premises in Barrs Court and Warmley. In total, around 2,000 premises will benefit during this phase of the roll out with a further 3,000 premises able to order superfast broadband by June. 

Cllr John Goddard, chair of South Gloucestershire Council’s Resources Sub-Committee, said: “Super Switch-On Day will come as a welcome boost for the economic prosperity of yet more of our local businesses and communities in South Gloucestershire who will soon have access to superfast broadband. 

“We are using Super Switch-On Day to help launch Superfast Business*, which is run by Business West and Peninsula Enterprise. As part of the programme, more than 40 businesses across South Gloucestershire are set to benefit from a £255,000 investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Eligible businesses will learn about, and exploit, the opportunities that digital technologies and fibre-optic broadband present.” 

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: “The switching on of super-fast broadband in Yate and Old Sodbury is great news for both local residents and businesses. Today’s announcement is just part of a transformation of broadband services happening throughout the UK. Broadband is an essential part of the area’s present and future. It is vital that we embrace this latest generation of technology in order for our economy to remain competitive.”

Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation networks for BT, added: “This is an exciting time for South Gloucestershire. A huge amount of engineering work is going on throughout the county and we are making great strides. 

“This project will have a hugely positive impact on rural as well as urban communities in South Gloucestershire with fibre broadband providing a whole range of opportunities for households and businesses alike.” 


Notes to Editors 

Photo/broadcast opportunity: 
To mark Super Switch-On Day a photo call/broadcast opportunity has been arranged at the cabinet on North Road, Yate. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10.30am on Wednesday 18 December with the three leaders at South Gloucestershire Council, Cllrs John Calway, Andy Perkins and Ruth Davis. The Government’s Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Ed Vaizey has provisionally stated he will also be at the event, subject to other government business priorities. They will be joined by Cllr John Goddard, Chair of South Gloucestershire Council’s Resources Sub-Committee. 

The project aims to lay nearly 100 kilometres of fibre cabling and install more than 50 new street cabinets. More information on the project can be found at www.southglos.gov.uk/broadband 

*This builds on BT’s existing commercial roll out, which has already made the technology available to 87,000 homes and businesses rising to more than 90,000 in South Gloucestershire by the end of spring 2014. 

About BT 

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 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 principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach. 

For the year ended 31 March 2013, BT Group’s reported revenue was £18,103m with reported profit before taxation of £2,315m. 

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 

About Superfast Britain 

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 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 

*Superfast Business is an ERDF funded programme led by Peninsula Enterprise and delivered with consortium partners Business West in South Gloucestershire on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and South Gloucestershire Council. 
Contact – w: www.superfastbusiness.co.uk e: info@superfastbusiness.co.uk t: 0845 603 8593

For media enquiries contact: 
Strategic Communications 
South Gloucestershire Council 
Tel: 01454 863200