More communities across Greater Manchester are to benefit from the roll-out of additional superfast broadband thanks to a strong demand for the high-speed fibre technology from local businesses and households.
More than 25 per cent of customers in the Get Digital Faster area have already chosen to take-up the service, triggering a £1.4 million ‘gainshare’ award under the terms of the contract with BT, which is to be used to further extend the fibre roll-out.
Around 2,900 additional premises have just been added to the Get Digital Faster roll-out plans for 2017 and 2018.
The additional roll-out is planned for Bolton, Bury, Wigan, Stockport, Tameside, Rochdale, Oldham and Trafford, although this is subject to detailed survey work.
More than 2,500 of the 2,900 premises are expected to receive superfast broadband speeds of more than 24Mbps.
To date, the Get Digital Faster programme, managed by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), has made fibre broadband available to around 47,000 additional homes and businesses with 45,000 of these able to receive superfast speeds of 24Mbps and above. The project is supported with funding from the UK Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, local Greater Manchester districts, the EU and BT.
When the private sector’s roll-out of fibre broadband is also included it means that already more than 98 per cent of Greater Manchester households and businesses can now get fibre broadband.
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 it's brilliant news that the high take-up rate in Greater Manchester means we can now take the rollout of superfast speeds even further. This will provide another boost to the local economy and is all part of the UK Government's work to make sure Britain remains a digital world leader."
Councillor Alex Ganotis, Leader of Stockport Council, the lead local authority on Get Digital Faster programme, said: “I’m delighted that the uptake of fibre broadband has been so high.Not only does this mean residents and businesses are already benefitting from the opportunities improved connectivity offers them, but it has also opened the door to reinvestment of monies, which will be used to extend fibre broadband coverage even further.
“This investment will benefit thousands of residents and businesses, helping maintain Greater Manchester’s competitive edge as a business destination whilst also making it easier for companies and residents to do things that need a faster internet connection.”
Tony Morgan, BT’s programme director, said: “The Get Digital Faster programme is going from strength to strength. We are seeing strong take-up of fibre broadband across the area and this is helping us reach even more communities.
“BT is committed to rolling out this transformational technology as far as possible and already, more than 98 per cent of homes and businesses across the eight authorities are currently able to access fibre broadband.”
All of the engineering work as part of Get Digital Faster is being carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business. This means residents and businesses with access to fibre broadband can choose from a wide range of internet service providers and benefit from competitive pricing and products.
Residents and businesses can find out if they are able to upgrade to fibre broadband by visiting www.get-digital-faster.info
Notes to Editors
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 2016, 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.
For more information, visit www.btplc.com
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:
For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk
The Get Digital Faster project is part financed by the North West European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013.
The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit