savings put difficult-to-reach community into superfast lancashire programme;
around 250 homes and businesses to benefit
A Ribble Valley village, which campaigned for fibre broadband, is to get the high-speed technology thanks to Superfast Lancashire funding.
The rural outpost of Gisburn was initially not included in the fibre broadband programme because of the cost of reaching the Lancashire community, but now savings made in the rollout in the rest of the county have made the linkup possible.
Around 250 homes and businesses in the centre of Gisburn will have access to the high-speed network from next year.
BT’s local network business, Openreach, which will build the new branch of the Lancashire network, will start work on the 15-kilometre cable ‘spine’ in January. If the work progresses as hoped, fibre broadband is expected to ‘go live’ in the village in early summer 2015.
County Councillor Sean Serridge, Lancashire County Council's Champion for Digital Inclusion, said: "We are committed to ensuring that even the most rural and remote areas of Lancashire have access to fibre broadband and it is great news that Superfast Lancashire has been able to roll it out to so many people in Gisburn.
"Earlier this year Lancashire received nearly £4m additional funding as part of Broadband Delivery UK's Superfast Extension Programme. We are still in the procurement process to start delivering that programme but it brings the possibility of more of Gisburn, and other remote areas of the county, gaining access to fibre broadband in the future."
Steve Edwards, Director of Fibre Broadband Projects for BT Group, said: “The community in Gisburn has played a key role in making the case for fibre broadband. Superfast Lancashire will bring fibre broadband to 97% of the homes and businesses in the county and with Lancashire County Council we will be exploring how we can go even further.”
Residents can look forward to download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps . This allows multiple users in a household to surf the internet, download and share large files of information, upload photographs, and download music, films and television programmes all at the same time, and more quickly than ever before.
Work on the Superfast Lancashire project is well underway across the county. Openreach engineers are laying around 2,700 kilometres of optical fibre cable and installing a total of around 700 new fibre broadband cabinets throughout the Superfast Lancashire Broadband Project area. It is estimated that engineers will complete over a million staff hours of work planning and building the network during the lifetime of the project.
The SFL programme is in addition to BT’s own commercial rollout which covers two thirds of premises in the UK. The two projects together have now reached around 487,000 homes and businesses in Lancashire – 72% of the county.
The Openreach network is open to all broadband service providers on an equal wholesale basis. In order to get fibre broadband, residents and businesses should contact their service provider as this upgrade does not happen automatically.
Superfast Lancashire is a partnership between Lancashire County Council and BT, with additional funding from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK, as well as the European Regional Development Fund, Blackburn with Darwen Council and Blackpool Council.
Notes to Editors
Superfast Lancashire’s Business Support Programme is governed by eligibility criteria defined by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) based on size, primary activity, turnover etc. Businesses will be expected to complete an initial short self-certification form which will be validated by one of the advisors.
The programme will link with other key support initiatives across Lancashire. This will enable businesses to gain from the extended benefits of complementary programmes such as Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, subject to not having exceeded their ERDF allowance.
The Business Support Programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in partnership with Superfast Lancashire.
BT is contributing £30 million to the project whilst £10.8 million will come from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), £16.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund and £5.2 million from local councils (£4.7m from LCC, £300,000 from Blackburn with Darwen Council and £230,000 from Blackpool Council.
This project is part financed by the North West 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
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