Project to bring superfast technology to Bristol community is 200th of its kind in UK
A partnership between a small Bristol community and BT has marked a major milestone in the roll-out of fibre broadband across the UK.
People living and working in The Yard in North Bristol are the 200th community in the country to sign a jointly funded deal with BT to get the high-speed technology.
The project involves funding from the local community and Openreach, BT’s local network business, as well as a £6426 grant from BT’s Community Fibre Partnerships programme to pay for the extensive engineering work.
Under this programme, communities in the final five per cent of the UK not covered by fibre broadband roll-out plans can apply for a BT grant of up to £20,000 towards the cost of their fibre broadband network if the technology will also benefit a local school or similar organisation.
The Garden Bristol, a small outdoor childcare project based at the Wild Goose Space in The Yard, was part of the group which applied for a BT grant.
Local community co-ordinator, Pete Tiley, who helped arrange the partnership, explains: “Securing fast broadband connectivity will be huge a boost for everybody living, learning and working in The Yard.”
“Many internet users in The Yard found that our existing broadband connection was unable to meet our needs.
“The Garden Bristol provides a fantastic out-door childcare service to local families in the area and with the addition of superfast broadband they’ll be able to provide so much more to those children that attend.
“I am delighted that we’ll soon be able to enjoy the many benefits of a fast reliable online service thanks to BT’s Community Fibre Programme.”
As part of the contract, fibre broadband will also be made available to businesses located in The Yard, other local groups who use The Wild Goose Space community rooms, and to the 39 households who are an integral part of The Yard.
Work will soon commence on making superfast broadband available to The Yard and is due to be completed later in the year.
Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for next generation access, said: “BT’s ambition is to ‘never say no’ to any community that wants superfast fibre broadband connectivity and our partnership with the community of The Yard in Bristol – the 200th of its kind across the UK – is testimony to that.
“The more we shop, learn and communicate online the more important it is that we have fast and reliable broadband connections.
“More than nine out of ten households and businesses in the UK already have access to superfast broadband and we are committed to making faster broadband as widely available as possible.”
Kim Mears, Openreach’s managing director for infrastructure delivery, said: “We know the positive impact faster broadband has on people’s lives and it’s great to be able to work together with communities like The Yard in Bristol to find a fibre broadband solution.
“We hope that the availability of these grants will encourage even more communities to work with us on bringing high-speed connectivity to their town or village.”
Download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (Mbps) will be available to The Yard community, enabling people to keep up with emerging technology and helping to inspire young people to embrace the role technology plays in their lives.
The Openreach network offers fibre broadband access to service providers on an open, wholesale basis, so local households and businesses have a choice of many different services from a wide range of service providers nationwide.
Further information about BT’s Community Fibre Partnership is available at www.communityfibre.bt.com