More business and residential communities in Merseyside are to benefit from the roll-out of superfast broadband thanks to strong demand for the high-speed fibre technology from local businesses and households.More than 25 per cent of customers in the Merseyside Connected area have already chosen to take-up the service, triggering a ‘gainshare’ award of more than £2 million under the terms of the programme’s contract with BT, which is to be used to further extend the fibre broadband coverage.
More than 3,000 premises have just been added to the Merseyside Connected roll-out plans for 2017 and 2018 as a result of the financial boost. A key area of focus will be business locations.
Subject to planning and survey work, the proposed areas to benefit include Knowsley Business Park, Liverpool and Sefton Docks, Birkenhead Waterfront, Wirral Waters, Wirral International Business Park, Haydock, Bootle Office Quarter, Stonebridge Cross and Edge Lane.
It is expected that around 1,700 of the 3,000 premises will receive superfast speeds of more than 24Mbps.
The announcement comes as phase one of the contract is completed. In the three years since it started, the programme has made fibre broadband available to more than 60,000 homes and businesses in Merseyside with 495 green fibre broadband cabinets being installed.
Councillor Gary Millar, Assistant Mayor and Mayoral lead for business and international trade at Liverpool City Council, the lead local authority on Merseyside Connected, said: “Under its initial contract with BT, the Merseyside Connected programme receives a refund if take-up reaches a certain point. As this has been achieved, the money will be used to extend the network to areas previously outside the planned coverage area which is great news.
“Investing public money in fibre broadband helps sustain our rural communities and maintains Merseyside’s competitive edge as a business destination. It also allows homeowners to do things that need a faster internet connection like accessing skills and learning, entertainment and other social connections.”
Tony Morgan, BT’s programme director, said: “The Merseyside Connected programme is going from strength to strength. We are seeing strong take-up of fibre broadband across the county and this is helping us reach even more communities.
“BT is committed to rolling out this transformational technology as far as possible and already, more than 97 per cent of homes and businesses across the county are now able to access fibre broadband.”
All of the engineering work as part of Merseyside Connected is being carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business. This means residents and businesses with access to fibre broadband can choose from a wide range of internet service providers and benefit from competitive pricing and products.
To find out if residents or businesses can upgrade to fibre broadband they need to speak to their service provider, they will not automatically be upgraded.
For further information
Contact Janet Hare in the BT North West Regional Press Office
Tel: Direct when phoning from the NW 0800 085 0660.If phoning from outside the NW ring 01244 316 417Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
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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.
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 180 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 of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.
For the year ended 31 March 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m.
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
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:
For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk
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