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More than 60,000 households and businesses can enjoy faster fibre broadband in Wiltshire

Press Release   •   Aug 12, 2015 10:43 BST

Government Minister praises “incredible progress” of multi million pound Wiltshire project

More than 60,000 homes and businesses now have access to faster fibre optic broadband in Wiltshire thanks to the Wiltshire Online project.

The news comes on the same day 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.

These Wiltshire homes and businesses were not picked up by a commercial provider and would not have had access to the service had this project not been in place.

More than 300 new roadside fibre broadband cabinets have so far been installed across Wiltshire as part of the partnership between Wiltshire Council and BT with additional funding from the UK Government’s Superfast Britain programme, which will make broadband speeds of more than 24Mbps available to 91% of premises in Wiltshire by March 2016.

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 Wiltshire Online on having reached more than 60,000 properties in Wiltshire so far and on making incredible progress."

Wiltshire Council cabinet member with responsibility for broadband, John Thomson, said: “I’m pleased we continue to make a significant contribution to the on-going success of the national project. It’s a particular achievement for us given the rural nature of our county.


“Communities up and down the country, including many in Wiltshire, are being ‘switched on’ and benefiting from much improved broadband speeds.


“This allows local businesses to flourish and improves the daily lives of many residents.”

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 Wiltshire and the UK as a whole.

“BT’s multi billion pound investment in superfast broadband through its involvement in partnerships, such as Wiltshire Online, and its own commercial programme has already made fibre broadband available to many hundreds of thousands of households and businesses in the South West – and the number is continuing to grow rapidly. Our Openreach 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.”

Residents and businesses will need to sign up for a fibre package to benefit from improved speeds, but because the network is being installed by Openreach it is ‘open’ and there is a wide choice of broadband service providers. Local people choosing to upgrade will be able to get download speeds of up to 80 megabits (Mbps) and uploads of up to 20Mbps**.

Wiltshire Council’s Wiltshire Online website www.wiltshireonline.orgincludes a postcode checker. People cansimply enter their postcode into the checker to get an update on the progress of fibre broadband availability in their area.

Ends.

Notes for editors:

For more information please contact the Wiltshire Council communications team on 01225 713115/6 or 01225 713664 or the BT press office on its 24-hour number 0800 085 0660.

For political comment:Conservatives: John Thomson – john.thomson@wiltshire.gov.uk
Liberal Democrats: Jon Hubbard - jon.hubbard@wiltshire.gov.uk
Labour: Ricky Rogers - ricky.rogers@wiltshire.gov.uk
Independents: Ernie Clark - ernie.clark@wiltshire.gov.uk

*More than 157,000 Wiltshire homes and businesses already have access to fibre broadband through BT’s commercial roll-out.

**These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

About Superfast Britain

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department for 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:

  1. £790m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017;
  2. £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities; and
  3. £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