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Connecting Shropshire announces plans to provide fibre broadband to 13 new exchange areas

Press Release   •   Sep 10, 2014 00:00 BST

New exchange area map outlines programme’s plans up until December 2015 

Thirteen more exchange areas will get high-speed fibre broadband before the end of next year as part of the multi-million pound Connecting Shropshire programme.

The partnership between Shropshire Council, BT and Broadband Delivery UK, aims to make the sophisticated technology available to around 7,500 homes and businesses in: Bishops Castle, Bromfield, Calverhall, Cressage, Ditton Priors, Dudleston Heath, Ellesmere, Hodnet, Knockin, Munslow, Norton, Seifton and Worfield.

Today also saw the launch of a new online map and easy-to-use line checker on the Connecting Shropshire website, designed to make it even easier for people to find out the availability of fibre broadband in their area.
It can be accessed by logging onto: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/when-and-where/

The map allows local people to get up-to-date information about the status of their exchange area within the programme. The line checker enables people to enter their postcode or telephone number to find out their exchange area, whether or not fibre broadband is available and estimated dates when it will be available to them.

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council Cabinet member responsible for broadband, said: “We’re working towards connecting as many Salopians to fibre broadband as we can and the next stages of the plan are now confirmed. So far over 19,000 homes and businesses across 25 exchange areas have seen fibre broadband become available to them through the programme and as we continue to build, even more will be connected.

“The map and line checker are important resources that allow people to see where they fit into the programme and whether they are in an area where faster fibre broadband is already available.”
Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for broadband partnerships, said: “This is an exciting time for Shropshire. The Connecting Shropshire partnership is spreading its wings and our teams are working hard to bring high-speed fibre broadband to as many
communities as possible, as quickly as possible, including some of the most remote areas of the county.

“Fast and reliable internet is becoming crucial to daily life for residents in Shropshire. Fibre broadband will provide an equal opportunity to access essential online activities, such as council services, healthcare and other public services, as well as offering new leisure and educational opportunities.”
Connecting Shropshire builds on the commercial roll-out of fibre broadband by the private sector, which has already made the high-speed technology available to more than 111,000 Shropshire premises.

Notes to Editors:
Please note that not all premises in an exchange area will get access to fibre based broadband and not all premises served by a fibre enabled cabinet will necessarily get a speed enhancement.
To upgrade to fibre based broadband, people should contact their chosen internet service provider.

Contact
For further information about this news release please contact: Emma Tennant at the BT Regional press office on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.com (All BT news releases can be read at www.bt.com/newscentre) or
Callum McLagan at the Shropshire Council press office on 01743 255 939 or email callum.mclagan@ipande.co.uk (All Shropshire Council news stories can be read at http://shropshire.gov.uk/news/)
Connecting Shropshire programme website: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/

About Connecting Shropshire
Connecting Shropshire is the name given to the programme bringing fibre based broadband to areas where it isn’t economically viable for commercial companies to provide it. It is a partnership between Shropshire Council, BT and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) that will enable more than 62,000 homes and businesses in Shropshire (excluding Telford and Wrekin) to access faster broadband by the end of spring 2016.
When added to BT’s commercial roll-out, 93 per cent of premises in the Shropshire Council area will have access to fibre based broadband by the end of spring 2016. All premises in the programme area will be provided with access to a basic level of broadband (a minimum of 2mbps).
* 75 cabinets have been installed to date; customers can order from 55 today with a further 20 cabinets going live in the next few weeks.

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment 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 is comprised of three elements:
• £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 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