Homes and businesses in a further 71 Norfolk communities are due to have access to high-speed fibre broadband by the end of the year, after Norfolk County Council and BT today (Wednesday, 7 August) announced the next areas to benefit from their Better Broadband for Norfolk programme.
People living and working in towns and villages including Acle, Banham, Haddiscoe, Hemsby, Snetterton and Wymondham will be able to access new high-speed services between October and the end of the year (for a full list of the areas that are due to be connected in this round, see notes to editors).
Work is already underway to install the new fibre broadband infrastructure and it is anticipated that a further 16,200 Norfolk premises will be able to receive better broadband services, joining the 3,500 announced earlier this summer. The first high-speed broadband services made possible by the Better Broadband for Norfolk programme are already available, with the village of Croxton near Thetford the first to be ‘switched on’ at the start of July.
The roadside fibre broadband cabinets that are being connected to the new network serve very localised areas, so in each location only some parts of the towns and villages will be able to receive faster broadband speeds. As the services become available, people will be able to check whether their home or business can receive better broadband services as a result via the Better Broadband for Norfolk website (www.betterbroadbandnorfolk.co.uk).
George Nobbs, Leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “This roll-out of better broadband if going to make a real difference to our towns, communities and local businesses. The 71 new localities will find a very tangible difference to their broadband speed – as those people in places like Croxton, who’ve already got and experienced the new service, have told me.”
Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT Group, said: “High-speed fibre broadband is a very exciting step forward for these communities. It will provide a major boost for local businesses and households. Whatever you do online you can do it better with fibre broadband. The fact that rural communities, are among the first to benefit from this partnership demonstrates our collective determination to get this exciting technology to more challenging locations, which fall outside the private sector’s commercial plans.”
The Better Broadband for Norfolk programme was launched to help large parts of Norfolk that currently have slow or no broadband access. In 2011 the council pledged £15 million to the scheme, and this was matched by central Government as it became one of the first local authorities in the UK to be successful in bidding for Broadband Delivery UK funding under the framework contract.
In addition to covering the ongoing costs of supporting and maintaining the network, BT is making an £11 million contribution towards the cost of installing the fibre infrastructure, bringing the total capital investment in the project to £41 million.
The deal between BT and the County Council means that more than 80 per cent of Norfolk’s homes and businesses are expected to be able to access high-speed fibre broadband services of up to 80Mbps1 by the end of 2015. The programme also aims to provide all homes and businesses with a minimum broadband speed of 2Mbps within the same timescale.
Alongside work to install new broadband cabinets and fibre networks, BT engineers are continuing survey work across the county to ascertain what work is required to bring better broadband to different areas. Once each phase of survey work is completed, announcements on the next areas that are set to benefit will be made every two months.
For more information about the Better Broadband for Norfolk programme, visit www.betterbroadbandnorfolk.co.uk.
Notes to editors
1These are the top wholesale speeds available from BT’s local network business, Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
Find below the full list of towns and villages which contain areas that are set to be able to receive services made possible by the Better Broadband for Norfolk programme between October and the end of December. Please note that not all homes and businesses in the towns and villages listed will receive better broadband services.
• Attleborough (including Station Road Trading and Haverscroft Industrial Estates)
• Berney Arms
• Burgh Castle
• Carleton Rode
• East Harling
• Fiddler's Green
• Forncett St Peter
• Great Ellingham
• Little Ellingham
• Morley St Botolph
• Morley St Peter
• Moulton St Mary
• New Buckenham
• Old Buckenham
• Ormesby St Margaret
• Rockland All Saints
• Snetterton (including Oakwood Industrial Estate)
• South Burlingham
• Spooner Row
• St Olaves
• West Caister
• West Harling
• West Somerton
• Wymondham (including Fitzmaurice and Bridge Industrial Estates)