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Rural broadband project includes a further 1000 premises in its plans

Press Release   •   Sep 17, 2014 00:00 BST

An additional 1000 rural homes and businesses in South Gloucestershire are to benefit from the rollout of high-speed fibre broadband thanks to the £35.6 million Great Western Broadband (GWB) partnership between South Gloucestershire Council, Wiltshire Council and BT.

Work has progressed well with the current rollout and the project has been extended to include the following rural communities within the existing funding: Aust, , Hawkesbury Upton, Horton, Marshfield, Winterbourne and additional parts of Pucklechurch and Downend.

Also announced today is the inclusion of a number of industrial parks and trading estates across South Gloucestershire including Emerald Park Industrial Estate in Emersons Green and North Road Industrial Estate in Yate.

The first homes and businesses in these locations will be able to order fibre broadband services from early spring next year.

The extension of the rollout will increase to 16,000 the total number of premises served by the project by its completion in spring 2015.

Cllr John Goddard, Chair of Resources Sub Committee, said: “I am delighted to be able to announce that communities in Aust, Hawkesbury Upton, Horton village, Marshfield, Winterbourne and additional parts of Pucklechurch and Downend will benefit from the current rollout. We are pushing the fibre broadband coverage as far as we can within the available funding to include as many communities in the rollout as possible.

“We recognise that not all areas in South Gloucestershire will benefit from the current rollout of superfast broadband. This is because due to State Aid rules the council is not currently able to invest in areas where there is already a commercial provider. However, we are working hard to try and find a solution and source further funding so that the project can be rolled out to even more premises.”

Matt Lloyd, Programme Director for BT, said: “From the outset the project has been designed to extend the availability of high-speed fibre broadband to the vast majority of homes and businesses in South Gloucestershire. Today’s excellent news is that we’re now planning to reach an additional 1000 premises in rural locations across the area.

“We believe fibre broadband is essential to the communities we serve and are working with our partners to roll it out as far as we can with the money available to deliver excellent value for money. This is one of the most important infrastructure projects of our age and I’m proud of the role BT’s playing.”

Visit our website www.southglos.gov.uk/broadband to find out more about the broadband project. You can also find details of our new online postcode checker where you can check to see when you will get access to superfast broadband in the intervention areas. You can also view our postcode-level map showing progress on the project to date.

ENDS


Note to Editors

The project builds on BT’s commercial roll-out of fibre broadband across the two local authority areas. BT’s commercial roll-out has already provided the fibre broadband capability to nearly 90,000 premises across South Gloucestershire.
More than 19,500 homes and businesses now benefit from the Great Western Broadband partnership.
The BT regional press office 24-hour number is 0800 085 0660.

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 per cent 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