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Northern Lincs Broadband gets two million pound boost for superfast rollout

Press Release   •   Aug 12, 2015 15:31 BST

Government announces three million UK premises can now get superfast as a result of its Broadband Delivery UK roll-out

The Northern Lincs Broadband project plans to push the rollout of fibre broadband even further – thanks to a double dose of extra funding with £1m savings made from the first phase of the rollout and a further £1m investment from BT.

The funding will allow the project to go beyond current plans for the second phase, now well underway, which will soon make the technology available to a further 4,000 households and businesses.

The potential £1m in savings comes from efficiencies in the deployment of the fibre network in the first phase of the NLBB project that was completed in June 2015, reaching 31,000 properties. The final amount saved will be confirmed in September.

And £1.1m will comes from funding that BT is making available to extend Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) projects across the UK as a result of the success of the projects in delivering higher than expected take-up by households and businesses.*

The money will enable NLBB to reinvest in providing further superfast broadband coverage much earlier than originally planned.

NLBB is currently working with BT to obtain the extra money and to decide how it could be used to extend coverage throughout the county, targeting many of those properties in hard to reach places. The project will share further information in the coming months.

This means that even more homes and businesses will be able to reap the many benefits of high-speed broadband by March 2017 – by which time more than 97 per cent of premises in Northern Lincs will have access to the new network.

Cllr Liz Redfern, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “I am delighted that more homes and businesses across Northern Lincolnshire are going to be able to access high-speed broadband. Gone are the days of ADSL internet - superfast fibre broadband is the way forward. It provides unlimited benefits for both homes and businesses.

“We have received some really positive feedback from residents and businesses saying they have seen major differences in their internet speeds when doing a range of things, from watching catch-up TV on their tablets to downloading business files.

“The first phase of the project was a huge success. It was in the top six nationally for completing the rollout the quickest. I’m positive we will add to this success with the second phase.”

This news follows the Government’s announcement today that more than three million UK homes and businesses now have access to superfast broadband as a result of their UK wide rollout.

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 NLBB on having reached more than 31,000 properties in North Lincolnshire so far – they’re making incredible progress."

Detailed rollout plans of the next NLBB phase will be announced in the coming months with the first communities included expected to benefit from the new technology from March 2016 onwards.

Communities across Northern Lincolnshire included in the next phase are Barrow, Barton, Crowle, Eastoft, Manton, Garthorpe, Howsham, Keadby, Scunthorpe, Whitton and Winterton – plus many more.

A map of the areas that will benefit from superfast broadband will be available soon.

Tom Keeney, BT’s regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “The NLBB project and the team behind it should feel very proud of what has been achieved so far. Not only did the first phase complete early but it also completed under budget. This is no mean feat for a civil engineering project of this size.

“I am sure they will build on this success during the second phase and bring superfast, fibre broadband to thousands more homes and businesses in Northern Lincolnshire.”

The £7m NLBB project was set-up with the aim of providing high-speed fibre broadband access to around 92.5 per cent of Northern Lincolnshire by June 2015, which it has successfully done. The investment was made up of Government funding from BDUK, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), North Lincolnshire Council and BT.

Of the 31,000 properties reached in the first phase, more than 4,000 are businesses.

NLBB developed a free programme of business support to help eligible small businesses save time, money and improve efficiency. The programme of dedicated IT specialists and business advisers provided tailored support geared towards maximising the benefits of improved connectivity.

The Business Support team provided 3,000 hours of support to more than 450 local businesses across Northern Lincolnshire. 160 businesses completed the full programme.

Ends

For further information about this news release please contact Kirsty Westfield on 01724 296364 or the BT regional press office on 0800 085 0660.

Notes to Editors:

* The £1.1m is being made available as a result of a “gain share” clause in the phase 1 BDUK contract BT agreed with North and North East Lincolnshire that allows the funding BT has received to be reinvested over a number of years into further coverage if take-up is better than the 20 per cent expected in BT’s original business case. This announcement is bringing forward that investment and making it available much earlier than planned.

For DCMS’s response to the news see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/additional-129-million-boost-for-nationwide-broadband-rollout


 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

About Northern Lincs Broadband

The Northern Lincs Broadband Programme 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.