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Eight more Warwickshire communities get high-speed fibre broadband for the first time as part of multi-million pound partnership

Press Release   •   Sep 30, 2014 00:00 BST

CSW Broadband Partnership project rollout boost for thousands more homes and businesses;
Bidford-on-Avon, Brailes, Ettington, Harvington, Ilmington, Lapworth, Moreton Morrell and Wolston are among next communities to benefit

The next communities to benefit from the multi-million pound CSW Broadband project were announced today by partners Warwickshire County Council and BT.

High-speed fibre broadband will be available for the first time in: Bidford-on-Avon, Brailes, Ettington, Harvington, Ilmington, Lapworth, Moreton Morrell and Wolston.

More than 8,000 homes and businesses in these communities will benefit from the upgrade work, which is due to be completed before the end of the year.

At the same time, the CSW Broadband project is being extended to parts of Alderminster, Atherstone, Chapel End, Exhall, Harbury, Henley-in-Arden, Shipston-on-Stour and Toll Bar, to enable even more local people to access the fibre optic technology.

In addition, areas of Keresley, Knowle and Solihull not previously covered by any commercial fibre rollout will also be able to access the technology as part of the CSW Broadband Partnership.

In April, Snitterfield became the first community to ‘go live’ as part of the CSW Broadband project in April. Villagers there were so quick to sign up for the faster fibre broadband that extra connections had to be added to enable more people to be able to order an upgrade.

So far the CSW Broadband Partnership has brought high-speed fibre broadband within reach of more than 15,000 homes and businesses, with more than 95 kilometres of fibre optic cable being laid to date. Around 77 more fibre cabinets will be installed by engineers working for Openreach – BT’s local access network business – to bring the total number of cabinets installed across the project area to more than 170 by the end of the year. These new street-side structures are needed to connect people onto the new fibre optic network.

The CSW Broadband project is bringing fibre broadband to those areas that were not considered to be viable under the commercial rollout programme and will mean that those living in rural or hard to reach areas will now be able to benefit from faster and more reliable broadband services.

Because Openreach’s network is ‘open’, more than 140 communications providers across the UK currently use it to offer services to customers. Local people wanting to upgrade can therefore choose broadband services from a range of communications providers, ensuring competitive prices, and access to download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (Mbps) and uploads of up to 20 Mbps*.

Councillor Alan Cockburn, Deputy Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “The CSW Broadband project is really producing results now. The new map is much easier to follow and the green areas clearly show which areas have been upgraded already, whilst the other colours show which are coming on-stream over the next few months.

“The feedback from residents and businesses is very positive, and it’s good to note that the programme is currently two months ahead of schedule, with at least one cabinet from phase three having already gone live.”
Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said: “This is a huge engineering project but the rollout is progressing really well, so thousands more people will be able to access high-speed fibre broadband by Christmas.

“Fast and reliable internet is becoming crucial to daily life. It means that small businesses can compete on an equal footing with larger firms - becoming more competitive and attracting new customers.

“Meanwhile the technology also enables local people to do more online than ever before, whether that’s accessing council services, healthcare and other public services, or pursuing new leisure and educational opportunities.”

CSW Broadband is a £15.47 million partnership between Warwickshire County Council and its five district and borough councils, with Coventry City Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

The CSW Broadband partnership will ensure around 40,000 premises in the project area have access to super-fast broadband. When combined with private sector investments, 91 cent of the area’s homes and businesses will have access to super-fast broadband by Spring 2016. Updates on the roll-out of CSW Broadband are available on the programme website: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk

ENDS

Notes to Editors
*These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
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Photos to illustrate fibre broadband can be accessed here

About CSW Broadband - http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk

CSW Broadband is a partnership of eight Local Authorities (Coventry, Solihull, Warwickshire and the Boroughs and Districts of North Warwickshire, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Rugby, Warwick and Stratford on Avon).
The project office is hosted by Warwickshire County Council and is based in Warwick. The project team can be contacted on 01926 738339 or broadband@warwickshire.gov.uk
The CSW Superfast Broadband Programme is in addition to, and separate from, Coventry City Council’s ‘Super Connected Cities’ Programme.
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