The multi million pound Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire programme reached a major milestone today when its 350th roadside fibre broadband cabinet went ‘live’.
To mark the occasion, villagers in Walkeringham ‘unwrapped’ their new roadside cabinet on Milbaulk Lane that will bring superfast internet speeds of up to 80 Megabits per second (Mbps) to the local community thanks to the partnership between Nottinghamshire County Council and BT.
Other areas of the county most recently connected to the fibre broadband network include East Stoke, Winkburn, Maplebeck, Worksop, Radcliffe on Trent, East Bridgford, Askham and Normanton on Soar.
And with a recent survey revealing that nearly a third of adults are hoping to receive a tablet computer this Christmas, the upgrade couldn’t have come at a better time.
Councillor Diana Meale, Chair of Economic Development at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “We’re proud of the progress we’ve made on the Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire programme and the 350th fibre cabinet presents another significant milestone for the project.
“For many people receiving smartphones, TVs, tablet computers or laptops for Christmas this year, our broadband roll-out will mean that they will be able to get the best out of their new gadgets.
"Nottinghamshire remains on course to become one of the best connected counties in the country. What's more, we're moving forward with our plans to roll-out more superfast broadband in 2016 and beyond, extending the digital revolution to thousands more homes and businesses.”
Around 1000 people live in Walkeringham, a village north-east of Worksop, close to the Lincolnshire border and the town of Gainsborough. There is also a local primary school and village pub.
Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire has already made fibre broadband available to more than 60,000 homes and businesses across the county.
Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for next generation access in the East Midlands, said: “This is a fantastic early Christmas present. Fibre broadband provides a huge boost to villages like Walkeringham that had previously been struggling with slow broadband speeds. They can now look forward to 2016 knowing it’ll be easier than ever to work from home and to go online to watch the latest TV and films, play computer games, stream music or stay in touch with family and friends through social media.”
Fibre broadband, which is now available in most areas of Nottinghamshire, helps make everything happen online much faster than a standard broadband connection.
At 50Mbps, a music album will take roughly 16 seconds to download, compared to more than three minutes on a 4Mbps connection, whilst the downloading of a high-quality film can be reduced from 50 minutes down to four minutes.
Recent figures published by Openreach, BT’s local network business, show the amount of data being used by people with fibre broadband is increasing by 40 per cent every year.
The research also shows that between June and August this year, the average fibre broadband customer used 190 Gigabytes of data per month. That’s the equivalent of a single household watching 17 hours of High Definition TV every week, 45 HD movies or downloading 2,000 music albums.
The work is being carried out on behalf of Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire by Openreach, which means villagers can choose from a wide range of internet service providers and benefit from competitive pricing.
Across Nottinghamshire, more than 418,000 homes and businesses now have access to fibre broadband thanks to the Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire programme and BT’s commercial rollout.
The programme is on course to ensure 95 per cent of the county has access to fibre broadband by April next year – compared to the national target of 95 per cent superfast broadband coverage by the end of 2017. BBfN also has further ambitious plans to extend coverage to around 98 per cent of the county by 2018.
Funding for the programme has been provided by a wide-range of organisations, including the county council, BT, Broadband Delivery UK (the Government’s broadband delivery arm), D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, the European Regional Development Fund and district and borough councils in Nottinghamshire.
For more information visit www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/broadband
 Openreach fibre broadband index - http://www.homeandwork.openreach.co.uk/fibre-index/