High-speed internet access is helping local businesses thrive and keeping communities connected
More than 2,300 households and businesses in the centre of Chester now have access to high-speed fibre broadband, thanks to Connecting Cheshire.
The latest green fibre broadband cabinet to be connected to the Chester Central exchange is in Hunter Street. It enables more than 150 businesses and homes nearby to connect to the high-speed network.
To date, 22 new roadside fibre cabinets have been installed in Chester by Connecting Cheshire, a partnership between Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Halton and Warrington Borough Councils, BT and central Government with additional funding from the European Regional Development Fund.
When combined with BT's commercial roll-out of the new technology, almost 20,000 homes and businesses in central Chester are now able to access faster broadband.
One Chester business already benefitting from the fast speeds is Legat Owen, commercial estate agent and chartered surveyors. Will Sadler, director of Legat Owen, said: ”The additional coverage of superfast broadband in Chester is very welcome news; our potential clients’ first question – even before asking about the rental costs – is often what is the broadband speed for this property?
“Being able to reassure occupiers that Chester is becoming truly a connected city is going to help sustain and safeguard the economic growth of the city and wider region.”
Councillor Samantha Dixon, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council and ward member for Chester city centre, said: “I am pleased more premises in the city centre are now able to benefit from faster broadband, from cafes offering free wifi to businesses using cloud based applications. I know how important fast and reliable broadband is to our local business community. This will help keep Chester vibrant and competitive.”
Tony Morgan, BT’s contract director, said: “High speed fibre broadband helps to ensure that businesses thrive and don’t just survive and helps to keep communities connected. Whatever you do online you can do it better with fibre broadband.
“Across Cheshire, BT has made fibre available to tens of thousands of local households and businesses through its own commercial programme and its investment in Connecting Cheshire.
“People and businesses in Chester are increasingly taking the great opportunities that this transforming technology offers. And the engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, have worked closely with Cheshire West and Chester to make those opportunities as widely available as possible.”
To check availability in your area you can visit the Connecting Cheshire website and enter a postcode or a telephone number - www.connectingcheshire.org.uk/check-availability
Connection to fibre broadband does not happen automatically and people must contact their service provider – there are more than 140 of them offering fibre broadband services across the UK – to place an order.
Rear, John Orritt and Barry Theaker, Openreach Engineering Co-ordinators, front Andrew Arditti – Engagement Manager, Connecting Cheshire and Cllr Samantha Dixon -Leader Cheshire West and Chester Council.
Notes to Editors:
About Superfast Britain
Superfast Britain is a Government investment of £1.08bn 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 comprises three linked programmes:
● £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 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
About Connecting Cheshire
The Connecting Cheshire project was launched in April 2013, and is a partnership of four councils – Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Halton and Warrington – and BT. Its Phase 1 £28.5m roll-out has been funded by £13.6m from the European Development Fund, £9m from BT, £4m from BDUK with £1.85m provided jointly from the councils. A £6m Phase 2 project will reach a further 10,000 premises by summer 2017.
The project will reach those areas outside of any commercial broadband roll-out using a partnership approach to ensure all communities have access to the fastest possible broadband speeds. For more information visit www.connectingcheshire.org.uk
The project is part financed by the North West Competitiveness Programme, European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.gov.uk/erdf-programmes-progress-and-achievements