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Community scheme brings superfast broadband to Greater Manchester village

Press Release   •   Jan 25, 2017 10:28 GMT

Kieran Charleson, BT's regional partnership director for the North West and Dr Edward White, community broadband lead for Warburton

A partnership between villagers and Openreach, BT’s local network business, is to make superfast fibre broadband available to around 93 homes and businesses in Warburton, near Lymm.Openreach will install new fibre optic cabling and a new green road-side cabinet equipped with the latest Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology.

Superfast speeds of more than 24Mbps will be available for the first time to the community from a wide range of broadband service providers. The community partnership is benefitting from funding through the Government’s Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme and will see local residents get the high-speed service by the end of this year.

The Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme allows households and businesses with internet speeds of less than 2Mbps, who are not included in any current programme to rollout high-speed fibre broadband, to get funding for better broadband using any technology. Warburton residents were awarded £350 per eligible household and business towards a new fibre broadband network.

The entire cost of bringing fibre broadband technology to residents in the community has been covered by the scheme and Openreach’s investment.

Dr Edward White, who set up Connecting Warburton, the local community group to campaign for faster broadband, said: “I am pleased to have led this community initiative, which will make a positive difference to the lives of many fellow residents of Warburton.

“Broadband is rightly regarded as the fourth Utility and equal access to a fast internet connection is increasingly necessary for local families and businesses across the whole of the village. I am delighted to know that this will be the case within the coming year.”

Kieran Charleson, BT’s regional partnership director for the North West, said: “We have been working closely with the people of Warburton to agree this funding solution to bring superfast fibre to the local community and it’s fantastic news that the contract has now been signed and the service will be up and running before the end of the year. We’re keen to have conversations with other communities who might be able to benefit from this approach.”

Kim Mears, Openreach’s managing director for infrastructure delivery, said: “Partnerships like this help us to bring high-speed connections to challenging areas that broadband providers struggle to upgrade alone.

“More than 92 per cent of the UK can access superfast speeds today, and we’re committed to making fibre broadband as widely available as possible in the UK. That’s why we’re investing in hundreds of similar projects across the UK, working in partnership with business and residential communities to deliver faster speeds from a wide choice of competing internet service providers.

“It’s great to be able to work with communities like Warburton to find a broadband solution.”

For more information on community fibre partnerships with BT and the Government’s Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme, visit www.communityfibre.bt.com

Ends

For further information

Enquiries about this news release should be made to the BT Regional Press Office on 0800 085 0660 All news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.btplc.com/News

Notes to editors

About Openreach

Openreach is responsible for the last mile of the UK access network – the copper wires and fibre connecting homes and businesses to their local telephone exchanges. Openreach provides communications providers with services and products associated with that network.

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 180 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.BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m.

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.