Announcement welcomed by Prime Minister as ‘great news’
Prime Minister and West Oxfordshire MP David Cameron has welcomed the arrival of faster broadband in Alvescot, Oxfordshire, by ‘switching on’ the village’s new Better Broadband cabinet.
The Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme, a partnership between Oxfordshire County Council, BT and the Government, aims to ensure at least 90 per cent 1 of all premises in the county will have access to superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps and above by the end of 2015.
Alvescot homes and businesses are among the first in the county to benefit from this £25 million Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme.
David Cameron, MP for Witney, marked the arrival of superfast broadband in the village at the event on Friday. He said: “The switching on of the first tranche of superfast cabinets marks the start of a remarkable transformation of broadband throughout Oxfordshire.
“The UK already does more business online than any other European country and widespread access to superfast speeds will provide a welcome boost to Oxfordshire’s economy.”
The Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme will bring significant social and economic benefits to rural areas in the county where broadband speeds may currently be slower than in other areas. By stepping in to fill gaps not served commercially, the county council and its partners are ensuring that more people can get online and take advantage of a wide range of services many already take for granted.
County Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “The county council, through the Better Broadband project, is ensuring that Oxfordshire has the capability to prosper economically and be amongst the most attractive places to live in the UK.
“I am really excited to be involved in this switch on as it means that people in the village can take advantage of faster internet speeds and all the benefits that come with it. In today’s rapidly moving world, fast and sophisticated communications are absolutely vital. They are an essential part of the future success of Oxfordshire.”
Parish councillor Richard Munro has been championing the importance of broadband for the community. He said: “Broadband is an essential part of modern life and yet in many rural areas, like Alvescot, speeds have typically been very slow. We welcome the arrival of superfast broadband in the village and all the benefits it will bring to our residents and businesses.”
The project, which also aims to ensure 100 per cent of the county will have access to a minimum speed of 2Mbps, has been funded by BT’s investment of £11 million, £10 million from Oxfordshire County Council and £4 million central government funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).
Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, added: “All over the country fibre broadband is changing people’s lives. It provides a digital gateway to a wealth of opportunities whether it is supporting how we work, how we learn, how we communicate with friends and family, or how we entertain ourselves. With the arrival of fibre in Alvescot local residents and businesses will be at the forefront of this broadband revolution.”
A list of possible internet service providers can be found at www.betterbroadbandoxfordshire.org.uk.
For further information please contact the BT Regional Press Office on 0800 085 0660. All our news releases can be found at www.btplc.com/news
Notes to editors:
Oxfordshire County Council awarded the multi-million pound contract to bring faster broadband to Oxfordshire in August 2013.
Openreach, BT’s local network business, is primarily deploying fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, where the fibre runs from the exchange to a local roadside cabinet. In addition to download speeds of up to 80Mbps2, FTTC also delivers upload speeds of up to 20Mbps2 — and could deliver even faster speeds in the future.
Openreach has also started to make fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, where the fibre runs all the way to the home or business, commercially available on demand3 in certain areas where fibre broadband has been deployed, and plans to expand access in due course. FTTP-on-demand offers the top current download speed of 330Mbps2.
Fibre broadband at home means everyone in the family can do their own thing online, all at the same time, whether it’s downloading music in minutes or watching catch-up TV; streaming HD or 3D movies in the few minutes it takes to make popcorn; or posting photos and videos to social networking sites in seconds. Fibre improves the quality of online experiences and supports exciting new developments in internet services.
The benefits are also considerable for businesses, which can do much more in far less time. Firms can speed up file and data transfers, collaborate with colleagues and customers on conference or video calls or swap their hardware and expensive software licenses for files, processing power and software from cloud computing. Staff can work as effectively from home as they would in the office.
Openreach will install the fibre network which will then be open to all communications providers on an equal wholesale basis. Households and businesses will therefore benefit from a highly competitive market, bringing greater choice and affordable prices.
1The Better Broadband for Oxfordshire initiative builds on BT’s commercial roll-out of fibre broadband, which has already made the technology available to more than 178,000 Oxfordshire homes and businesses.
2These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
3Openreach will levy an installation charge for FTTP on demand. It will be up to service providers to decide whether they pass that on to businesses or consumers wishing to use the product. Due to the current network topography, and the economics of deployment, it is likely that some premises within selected exchange areas will not initially be able to access fibre-based broadband. Openreach is considering alternative solutions for these locations.
Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department for 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:
• £790m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017;
• £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities; and
• £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