Government Minister praises “incredible progress” of multi million pound project
More than 50,000 homes and businesses can now access superfast fibre broadband speeds above 24Mbps - thanks to the Superfast Northamptonshire project.
This milestone marks a significant achievement within the first stage of the ambitious project, led by Northamptonshire County Council in partnership with BT.
The news comes as phase one of Superfast Northamptonshire looks set to be completed ahead of schedule whilst a phase two deal between the county council and BT is being brought forward by nine months to start later this year.
The latest areas to benefit are Cottingham, Gretton, Hartwell, Middleton, Nassington, Rushton, Warmington, Eaglethorpe and Wilbarston.
The announcement comes on the same day as the Government announced the nationwide rollout of superfast broadband has now passed more than three million UK homes and businesses. The rollout is on track to reach 95 per cent of the UK by 2017 and is now reaching around 5,000 additional premises every day.
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “We are transforming the digital landscape of the UK and our nationwide rollout of superfast broadband has now reached an additional three million UK homes and businesses.
“I congratulate Northamptonshire County Council on having reached more than 50,000 properties in the county so far - they’re making incredible progress."
Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, county council cabinet member for economic growth and strategic infrastructure, said: “Since the first cabinet was set up in February last year, engineers have been working very hard in laying down the infrastructure for superfast broadband.
“Without the multi-million pound public and private sector investment in this project, people living and working in these areas would not have access to superfast broadband services – leaving great chunks of the county behind.
“This is delivering real benefits. Clearly there are the economic advantages to these areas but these links enabled by superfast broadband are also increasingly important when it comes to providing services and forging links between communities.”
Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for next generation access, said: “Today marks important milestones, both locally and nationally, for the superfast broadband revolution. This exciting technology is transforming the opportunities for communities acrossNorthamptonshireand the UK as a whole. Engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, are rolling out the technology at a world class pace, reaching more premises every week.”
So far, more than 230 green roadside fibre cabinets have been installed, connected and switched on and more than 420km of optical fibre cable has been rolled out – almost enough to stretch from Northampton to Dublin.
The county council’s partnership with BT will see over 73,850 premises benefit from access to superfast broadband by the end of 2017.
To access the benefits from superfast broadband, residents and businesses should contact their internet service provider and enquire about an upgrade - it will not happen automatically.
When this major fibre roll out is complete, about 95per cent of premises in the county will be able to take up superfast broadband services when the private sector’s commercial rollout is also included. The benefits to families and businesses will be transformational.The County Council’s target is to see full coverage by the end of 2017.
For more information about the project, including the ability to see when services may be rolled out in your area please visit our ‘When and Where’ interactivemap and Roll Out page at: www.superfastnorthamptonshire.net
For further information
Enquiries about this news release should be made to the Northamptonshire County Council press office on 01604 367324.
The BT regional press office can be contacted on its 24-hour number: 0800 085 0660. All news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.btplc.com/News
About Superfast Northamptonshire
Superfast Northamptonshire aims to secure access to superfast broadband for all parts of the county by end 2017, bridging the gap where the commercial telecoms market becomes unviable to build the network which supports service provision. Through the Northamptonshire Next Generation Strategy, the county council is investing with telecoms suppliers to deploy fibre based broadband to those parts of the county which would otherwise not be served commercially. This is could affect around 90,000 premises across Northamptonshire.
The first two stages of the Superfast Northamptonshire project are being taken forward in partnership with BT.BT were appointed following procurements through the Government’s Broadband Infrastructure Delivery Framework with contracts signed in March 2013 and November 2014. Together these will provide access to superfast broadband (download speeds above 24Mbps) to over 73,850 premises by December 2017 and involve a combined public sector investment of £16.2m and £6.9m from BT.Public funders include the county council, the Department for Culture Media and Sport, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Northamptonshire district and borough councils.
Almost three quarters of all premises in the county should be covered by the commercial fibre broadband plans of private sector telecoms providers without the need for public investment.
To find out more go to www.superfastnorthamptonshire.net
You can follow Superfast Northamptonshire on Twitter @SFastNorthants
About Superfast Britain
Superfast Britain is a UK 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