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Nottinghamshire broadband roll-out reaches 50,000 milestone

Press Release   •   Aug 13, 2015 15:37 BST

Government Minister praises “incredible progress” of partnership

More than 50,000 homes and businesses in Nottinghamshire now have access to fast, fibre broadband, thanks to the Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire (BBfN) programme, it has been announced today.

The landmark has been reached just 14 months after the first BBfN properties went live. The programme is on course to ensure 95 per cent of the county has access to fibre broadband by April next year – 12 months ahead of the national target.

And BBfN, which is being delivered by Nottinghamshire County Council in partnership with BT, has further ambitious plans to extend coverage to around 98 per cent of the county by 2018.

Councillor Diana Meale, Chair of Economic Development Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The BBfN initiative is one of the largest and most ambitious infrastructure projects ever undertaken in Nottinghamshire. We are delighted that the roll-out has now reached 50,000 homes and businesses and that take-up of the service has been so high.

“We're switching on new fibre-broadband cabinets in communities at a rate of around one every other day, so I would urge people to keep checking our website to see when their property is able to connect to the faster service.

"Thanks to BBfN, Nottinghamshire remains on course to become one of the best connected counties in the country. What's more, we're finalising our plans for continuing the roll-out of superfast broadband beyond 2016, extending the digital revolution to thousands more homes and businesses.”

BBfN is employing new technology to ensure hard-to-reach communities get access to good, fast broadband.

In Warsop, near Mansfield, the county’s first ‘all-in-one’ fibre broadband cabinet went live last week, providing access to download speeds of up to 80mbps to 138 homes and businesses in the area.

The ‘Warsop onesie’, situated on the corner of Hetts Lane and Church Street, combines the existing copper service with the new fibre technology into one cabinet. Although not suitable for all locations, a ‘onesie’ helps reduce the number of street cabinets and is less expensive to maintain, allowing savings to be reinvested in providing broadband to more communities across the county.

Further ‘onesie’ cabinets are planned for Tuxford, New Ollerton, Dunham-on-Trent, Caunton, Woksop, Whatton, Retford, East Stoke, Edwalton, Misterton, Saxilby, Radcliffe-on-Trent, Beeston, East Bridgford, Bawtry, Hucknall and Newark.

Paul Bimson, BT’s regional partnership director in the East Midlands, said: “Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire is progressing extremely well and our Openreach engineers are connecting communities across the county as quickly as possible. We’ve said from the outset that new technology will most likely play an important part in this rollout so I’m pleased to see the very first onesie cabinet being installed in Nottinghamshire.”

Nottinghamshire’s 50,000 milestone announcement comes hot on the heels of the Government announcing the nationwide rollout of superfast broadband had now passed more than three million UK homes and businesses. The rollout is on track to reach 95 percent of the UK by 2017 and is now reaching around 5,000 additional premises every week.

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 Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire on having reached more than 50,000 properties in Nottinghamshire so far and are making incredible progress.”

Benefits of fibre broadband include faster download and upload speeds; the ability to access the internet via multiple devices without experiencing a slow connection, faster downloads of films and music, a better online gaming experience, improved file sharing for businesses, solutions based on Cloud computing and being able to work more flexibly.

BBfN provides the infrastructure for a fibre broadband service to residents and businesses in areas of the county not served by commercial companies, such as BT or Virgin Media.

Funding for BBfN has been provided by a wide-range of organisations, including the County Council, BT, Broadband Delivery UK (the Government’s broadband delivery arm), D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, the European Regional Development Fund and District and Borough Councils in Nottinghamshire.

Due to the way in which the programme is delivered, new fibre cabinets will continue to go live at regular intervals during the coming weeks and months. For the most up-to-date information, including broadband coverage in your area, visit www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/broadband


 Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire

The Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire project, led by Nottinghamshire County Council and BT will change the way Nottinghamshire lives, works, plays and learns by extending the county’s next generation fibre optic cable based broadband network to 98 per cent of homes and businesses.

It opens up huge opportunities to improve the quality of life and leisure prospects for Nottinghamshire families and will open new opportunities through online learning and faster access to information and services. It will provide a huge boost for businesses and the Nottinghamshire economy. Nottinghamshire firms will be able to find and establish new markets (locally, internationally, and globally), increase their competitiveness and create new jobs.

Households and businesses will have to contact their chosen Internet Service Provider to discuss upgrading to a fibre broadband connection.

The £19.8m in funding for BBfN contract one is broken down as follows: Nottinghamshire County Council - £2.15m; Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) – £4.5m; ERDF - £2.7m; BT - £9.3m; Nottinghamshire District Councils (Ashfield District Council , Bassetlaw District Council, Broxtowe Borough Council, Gedling Borough Council, Mansfield District Council, Newark and Sherwood District Council and Rushcliffe Borough Council) - £1m; Nottingham City Council - £150,000. 
 
 
About Superfast Britain

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

ERDF

The Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire project is part financed by the East Midlands 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.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding