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DC15-364 Almost 50,000 Merseyside homes and businesses can now get high speed broadband

Press Release   •   Aug 11, 2015 10:00 BST

384,000 more North West homes and businesses can now get high-speed broadband

  • Almost 50,000 of these are in Merseyside, under the Merseyside Connected programme

Almost 50,000 homes and businesses in Liverpool City Region have been reached by the Government’s nationwide roll-out of superfast broadband, figures published today (Wednesday 12 August) reveal.

More than 384,000 have been reached across the North West with Merseyside Connected making high speed fibre broadband available to 49,678 premises across the local authority areas of Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St. Helens and Wirral.

The Government roll-out is delivering superfast access - internet speeds greater than 24 Mbps - to those properties not covered by existing commercial networks and is on track to take superfast access to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017. More than four out of five UK premises already have access to superfast speeds, and the roll-out is currently reaching an additional 40,000 homes and businesses every week.

This comes following news last week that BT will make up to £129m available to extend the Government led roll-out of superfast broadband.

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said: “Reaching three million properties is a huge achievement and I’m delighted that this includes more than 384,000 in the North West. Our roll-out of superfast broadband is transforming lives up and down the UK as every day thousands more homes and businesses are gaining access to superfast speeds.

“It’s fantastic to see that the roll-out of superfast broadband is now delivering for customers and for the taxpayer. The levels of people taking up superfast broadband in areas where we invested public money are beyond our expectations, and BT is now reimbursing the public purse to deliver further coverage across the UK. This now means that BT will be providing up to £129m cashback for some of the most hard to reach areas.”

The additional funding will be made available to local authorities to reinvest the money in providing further superfast broadband coverage to even more homes and businesses, and much earlier than originally planned.

Councillor Gary Millar, Cabinet member for business and enterprise at Liverpool City Council, the lead local authority on Merseyside Connected, said: “I’m delighted Merseyside Connected has reached almost 50,000 premises across our region. Each month, even more green fibre-enabled street cabinets are being installed by Openreach engineers across the local authorities of Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St. Helens and Wirral. This is a really significant development for the people of Merseyside, to ensure the region can thrive business-wise in the digital age, but also to ensure residents can access valuable services and information online, find the best deals on products and services, and tap into all the latest entertainment and social media.”

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for next generation access, said: “Today marks another very important stage in the rollout of an exciting technology, which is transforming the lives of communities across Merseyside and the UK as a whole.

“BT’s multi billion pound investment in superfast broadband through its involvement in partnerships and its own commercial programme has already made fibre broadband available to many hundreds of thousands of households and businesses in Merseyside – and the numbers continue to grow rapidly. Our engineers are rolling out the technology at a world class pace, reaching thousands more premises every week.

“Successful broadband partnerships are creating a lasting legacy, which will play a key role in the future prosperity of communities for many years to come.”

The following table sets out the numbers of homes and businesses reached by the rollout to date in the North West.

Local authorityHomes and businesses reached by the rollout as at 31 July 2015
Cheshire80,759
Cumbria90,408
Greater Manchester30,033
Lancashire133,789
Merseyside49,678

END

Notes to Editors:

Enquiries about this news release should be made to the BT Regional Press Office on 0800 085 0660; DCMS News and Communications team on 0207 211 2210 or Liverpool City Council Press office on 0151 233 0069.

For photos of the BDUK fibre deployment, please go here; https://www.flickr.com/photos/107803477@N08/sets/

For more details of fibre rollout plans go here; www.bt.com/furtherwithfibre

About Merseyside Connected

Merseyside Connected is the partnership programme established to help manage the public procurement and subsequent deployment of the infrastructure for superfast broadband across Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. The programme is led by Liverpool City Council as the accountable body responsible for the programme.

The project is working as part of the Government’s national BDUK programme, which is operating across the UK.

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 more than 170 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 principally of five customer-facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2015, BT Group’s reported revenue was £17,979mwith reported profit before taxation of £2,645m.

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.

About BDUK
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% 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


    ERDF

    The Merseyside Connected project is part financed by the 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.communities.gov.uk/erdf