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Oxfordshire Broadband partnership celebrates reaching 50,000 homes and businesses

Press release   •   Jun 17, 2015 11:46 BST

Berinsfield, Great Milton, Hornton, Piddington, Sibford Gower, Shutford and Tadmarton are among latest communities to benefit from multi-million pound roll-out of fibre broadband;

Government Minister welcomes latest development

More than 50,000 homes and businesses across the county are now able to access faster fibre broadband as part of the multi-million pound ‘Better Broadband for Oxfordshire’ programme, partners Oxfordshire County Council and BT announced today.

The latest communities to get faster fibre broadband for the first time include: Berinsfield, Great Milton, Hornton, Piddington, Sibford Gower, Shutford and Tadmarton.

In addition, the high-speed technology has been made more widely available in parts of Banbury, Faringdon, Temple Cowley as well as areas of Oxford city centre.

It’s just over 18 months since the partnership began connecting the first county premises.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: "The digital landscape of Oxford is undergoing a dramatic transformation and I congratulate the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme on having reached more than 50,000 homes and businesses. Our nationwide rollout of superfast broadband is reaching 5,000 more premises every day and we're on track to reach 95 per cent of the UK by 2017."

Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for Business and Customer Services Councillor Nick Carter added: "It's exciting to realise that 50,000 more homes and businesses can now access the sort of broadband speeds that will improve people's lives immensely.

"This is an important milestone in the programme that the County Council has been running for a couple of years. It's nothing less than a digital revolution that will cement Oxfordshire's reputation as an unbeatable place to live and work, and we want people all across our county to be able to enjoy the benefits."

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said: “Every day the internet is touching our lives in new and exciting ways. Whether it’s people running a business, students doing their homework or families entertaining themselves – everything is better and faster with fibre broadband. This is why this milestone is so important. Our teams will continue to work hard to bring more and more communities within reach of fibre broadband, as quickly as we can.”

Better Broadband for Oxfordshire is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme. In February the partnership announced an additional £5.1 million worth of funding which will extend the rollout to an additional 6,500 premises*.

When both phases of the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme are complete, it will increase the percentage of homes and businesses able to access high-speed fibre broadband in Oxfordshire to around 95 per cent, when combined with private sector investments.

Residents and businesses choosing to upgrade will be able to get download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (80Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps**. Because the Openreach network is ‘open’, people can choose from a wide range of broadband service providers, of which more than 140 are currently operating in the UK.

Other communities to benefit recently include: Boars Hill, Edge Hill, Middleton Stoney, Nuneham, Swalcliffe and Woodstock.

Local people can follow progress of the roll-out via the website: www.betterbroadbandoxfordshire.co.uk

Note to Editors

*The deal comprises £1 million from South Oxfordshire District Council, £500,000 from Cherwell District Council, £250,000 from the Vale of the White Horse District Council, £200,000 from Oxfordshire County Council, £1.2m from BT, and a further £1.95m from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Superfast Extension Programme (SEP).

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

--ends--

Issued by Oxfordshire County Council and BT on behalf of the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire partnership.

About Better Broadband for Oxfordshire

Better Broadband for Oxfordshire is a partnership between Oxfordshire County Council, BT and BDUK. The £30.1 million programme is made up of £10.2 million from Oxfordshire County Council, £5,95 million from the Government (Broadband Delivery UK) and £12.2 million from BT. The District Councils have invested amounts through Oxfordshire County Council of £500,000 from Cherwell, £250,000 from the Vale of White Horse and £1 million from South Oxfordshire, It builds on the existing commercial footprint in the county with the aim that at least 95 per cent of all premises will have access to superfast broadband speeds of 24 Mbps and above by the end of 2017.

The Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme will make superfast broadband available to 71,000 homes and businesses across the county by the end of 2017.For further details go to: www.betterbroadbandoxfordshire.org.uk

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