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Boost for thousands more Shropshire homes and businesses as Connecting Shropshire roll-out passes major 50,000 premises milestone

Press Release   •   Feb 22, 2016 14:40 GMT

More than 50,000 households and businesses across Shropshire now have access to faster fibre broadband as a result of Connecting Shropshire, partners Shropshire Council and BT announced today.

Among the latest communities to benefit are: Atcham, Burlton, Childs Ercall, Norton, Wistanstow and Worthen, where households and firms are now able to access high-speed fibre broadband for the first time.

One of many local businesses already reaping the benefits of upgrading to faster fibre broadband is Brompton Cookery School and Brompton Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast, located between Cross Houses and Wroxeter.

Celebrity chef, Marcus Bean, and his wife, Jenny, who run the business, said the quality and reliability of their broadband had improved greatly since upgrading to a fibre service.

Marcus said: “Both the download and upload speeds are much faster than before, even though we’re about a kilometre from the new fibre cabinet in Cross Houses.

“Because of our remote location it’s essential for us to have an online presence, which serves as our shop window to the world. A reliable broadband connection allows us to maintain our two websites* more quickly and easily, making us more competitive and appealing to our customers.

Jenny said: “We weren’t sure about making the switch to fibre broadband to start with and had concerns about the possible impact on business continuity of a change in service. However, when we looked into it, we realised it was going to be significantly cheaper than our previous business broadband service so we just bit the bullet – and have never looked back!"

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council Cabinet member responsible for broadband, said: “It’s great to see how faster fibre broadband is benefitting more local businesses and households across the county, as well as important sectors like tourism.

“However, while this milestone marks a great achievement, we are fully aware that there is still work to be done to bring fibre broadband to the most hard-to-reach parts of Shropshire, and we are absolutely committed to achieving this.”

Colin Bannon, BT’s regional director for the West Midlands, said: “The Connecting Shropshire roll-out is progressing well and our project teams are working hard to bring the benefits of the new technology to more communities as quickly as possible.

“When combined with our commercial roll-out, more than 164,000 households and businesses across the whole of Shropshire, including Telford and Wrekin, can now access faster fibre broadband.”

People wanting to find out if fibre broadband is available in their area should enter their phone number or postcode in the checker on the Connecting Shropshire website: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/when-and-where/

Residents and businesses wanting to upgrade should contact their chosen broadband service provider - the broadband speeds don’t increase automatically.

Notes to Editors*

www.bromptoncookeryschool.co.ukwww.bromptonfarmhouse.co.uk

---ends---

Issued on behalf of Connecting Shropshire by Shropshire Council and BT.

For more information, please contact Adam Spreckley at the Shropshire Council press office on 01743 252826 or email adam.spreckley@ipande.co.uk

Or

Emma Tennant at the BT regional press office on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.comTwitter @EmmaTennantBT

About Connecting Shropshire

The Connecting Shropshire programme is bringing fibre based broadband to areas where it isn’t economically viable for commercial companies to provide do so. It’s a partnership between Shropshire Council, BT and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) that will enable more than 62,000 homes and businesses in Shropshire (excluding Telford and Wrekin*) to access faster broadband by the end of 2016. In June the partnership announced additional funding that will enable approximately 4,000 more homes and businesses to access high-speed fibre broadband during 2017 and 2018.

Connecting Shropshire programme website: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/

Photos showing the rollout of Connecting Shropshire can be downloaded for free from: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk1gij7M

All Shropshire Council news stories can be read at http://shropshire.gov.uk/news/

*Connecting Shropshire is separate from the Superfast Telford – www.superfast-telford.co.uk – partnership led by BT and Telford & Wrekin Council.


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 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. Following the acquisition of EE on 29 January 2016, BT consists principally of six customer-facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, EE, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2015, BT Group’s reported revenue was £17,979m with reported profit before taxation of £2,645m.

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.

All news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.btplc.com/News

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 per cent 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