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Boost for Malvern businesses as they become first to benefit from multi-million pound high-speed broadband partnership

Press Release   •   May 30, 2014 00:00 BST

Worcestershire County Council and BT celebrate the first cabinet to go live as part of multi-million pound partnership; 

Malvern businesses look forward to a fibre future;
Harriett Baldwin MP welcomes important milestone;

More than 50 businesses on the Enigma Business Park in Malvern were celebrating a new digital dawn today after becoming the first premises to benefit from Superfast Worcestershire – the £20 million high-speed broadband partnership between Worcestershire County Council, BT and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).

Representatives from Worcestershire County Council and BT welcomed Harriett Baldwin MP in Spring Lane for the official ‘switching on’ of the new roadside cabinet that is needed to make the high-speed fibre broadband network available to 56 premises on this part of the business park.

Superfast Worcestershire also confirmed that 79 homes in the nearby Leigh Sinton Road area can also now benefit from the multi-million pound roll-out, as a roadside fibre broadband cabinet on Leigh Sinton Road went live today.

Superfast Worcestershire is keen to see as many local businesses and households as possible sign up for this exciting technology because of the huge benefits it offers. The high-speed network is available on an open, wholesale basis to all broadband service providers, therefore offering local households and businesses the benefit of real choice from a highly competitive market.

Businesses have said how important high-speed connections are for them to compete and the Superfast Worcestershire partnership, therefore, recognises how important high-speed fibre broadband is to support the local economy under the council's priority to ensure Worcestershire is Open for Business. By June 2016, Superfast Worcestershire will have helped bring high speed fibre broadband access to more than 90 per cent of Worcestershire homes and businesses.
No one is more aware of the benefits of the new technology than Graham Ward, managing director of LGG Charlesworth Ltd, one of the businesses served by the new cabinet.

The local entrepreneur runs his plastics moulding company on the business park. Synthotec Limited, a sister company in Sandys Road, already has access to faster fibre broadband so he has first-hand experience of the benefits it can bring to his businesses.

Graham Ward said: “Since upgrading to high-speed fibre we’ve never looked back. We noticed the difference straight away.

“As a specialised technical manufacturing company we often have to send large 3D model data files to our customers particularly in the aerospace and automotive sectors. Faster broadband means we are more effective and efficient as a business and better able to meet our customers’ demanding timescales.”

Councillor Simon Geraghty, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure, said: "We recognise how important high-speed fibre broadband is for our businesses and Worcestershire's future economy.

"We have, therefore, focused on making high-speed broadband available to business premises as well as to Worcestershire's homes. To this end, we have worked to ensure that the first cabinets to go live from the partnership will serve not only residents but also a key business location, Enigma Business Park, where we know the availability of high-speed broadband will help successful businesses to continue to compete and grow. It is yet another reason for businesses to locate here.

This is great news and a taste of what is to come around the County."

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said: “Today’s announcement is an important step forward for a multi-million pound partnership, which will help transform broadband communications in Worcestershire. This exciting technology will provide a major boost to the local area. Big business applications driven by new ‘cloud’ services will be within the reach of enterprises of all sizes.

“Families will benefit too, for example, by being able to use multiple bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time within one household. It will also enable people to work from home. New fibre services are set to transform the way businesses and consumers use the internet. Whatever you do online you can do more and do it faster with fibre broadband.”

Harriett Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire, commented: “The Enigma Business Park has so many excellent businesses which will benefit from superfast broadband and I would like to thank the county council and BT for making this possible.

“The Superfast Worcestershire project will upgrade many more homes and businesses to fibre over the coming months and I look forward to celebrating the connection of other cabinets in my constituency.

“I continue to urge local people to register their interest in superfast broadband by visiting the Superfast Worcestershire website and ensuring the project managers see where people need better connections most.”

When an area has gone ‘live’ people are able to order an upgrade from a wide range of internet service providers because the Openreach network is open to all fibre broadband suppliers on an open, wholesale, basis, thereby ensuring competitive prices for the Worcestershire residents and businesses.

It enables them to access download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second and uploads of up to 20Mbps.*

Superfast Worcestershire builds on BT’s commercial fibre roll-out, which has already made the technology available to more than 176,000 premises across the county.

In total, nearly 55,000 businesses and homes are set to benefit from the Superfast Worcestershire partnership programme, once it’s completed.

The work to install high-speed broadband for Superfast Worcestershire involves engineers from Openreach – BT’s local network business – laying more than 750 kilometres of fibre optic cable.

Superfast Worcestershire is a partnership between Worcestershire County Council, which has invested up to £8.5 million, with an additional £8.9m from BT and a further £3.35m from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme. For these first cabinets Superfast Worcestershire has worked closely with all local partners, including Malvern Hills District Council.

Local people wanting updates on the fibre roll-out can visit the Superfast Worcestershire website at: www.superfastworcestershire.com and register for further updates, visit the Facebook page and join the conversation on Twitter

#SuperfastWorcs.


Note to Editors
*These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
Press Office Contacts
For more information please contact Worcestershire County Council please email:
commsunit@worcestershire.gov.uk or telephone: 01905 822058. For information about BT please contact the regional press office on 0800 085 0660. All BT news releases can be accessed at http://www.btplc.com/News
• Worcestershire County Council is contributing up to £8.5 million, with an additional £3.35 million coming from the from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds through the Superfast Britain initiative (please see below). BT is also contributing £8.9 million towards the overall cost of the Superfast Worcestershire deployment, having been chosen following an extensive and thorough selection process.

  • Worcestershire County Council signed contracts with their preferred supplier BT on August 5, 2013. The partnership announced that high-speed fibre broadband will be rolled out to more than 90 per cent of Worcestershire homes and businesses over 2014, 15 and beyond and that all remaining areas will receive broadband with a minimum speed of at least 2Mbps.
  • Those who register on the Superfast Worcestershire website will need to enter a phone number and postcode to receive information and updates at a local level. Those who registered their demand will continue to be kept up to date on the programme and have the option of registering again to receive more local updates.


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