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Take-up of high-speed broadband by East Riding homes and businesses doubles in just 12 months

Press Release   •   Nov 14, 2016 11:33 GMT

The number of people signing up for superfast fibre broadband in East Riding has doubled in a year.

Latest BT figures show that more than 32 per cent[1] of households and businesses in the Broadband East Riding area have already signed up to a fibre broadband package. This compares to 16 per cent a year ago.

The figures place Broadband East Riding as one of the leaders in the UK for residents and businesses taking up a superfast broadband service. The national average is 28.5 per cent.[2]

Phase one of the Broadband East Riding project saw more than 42,000 households and businesses get access to superfast broadband, of which more than 13,000 have already chosen to upgrade their broadband to enjoy the benefits of faster speeds.

Bishop Wilton, Hemingbrough and Melbourne have the strongest demand for super-fast broadband in the county with around 75 per cent of homes and businesses signing up to the high speed technology.Other areas with a take-up of more than 50 per cent include; Hornsea, Bubwith, Pocklington, Holme on Spalding Moor, Watton and Wilberfoss.

Councillor Jonathan Owen, deputy leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “It is great to see that households and businesses in connected areas have understood the benefits fibre broadband can bring them and are now experiencing those benefits for themselves.

“Every day the number of services delivered to us online, whether designed to entertain, educate or meet our daily needs, is growing. Content and applications will only get more sophisticated until superfast broadband will become vital for doing all your essential tasks online, so it is vital that communities take advantage of the technology as it arrives.”

Tom Keeney, BT’s regional director for Yorkshire and Humber, added: “Broadband numbers are increasing strongly, not least because people see it as a route to jobs and markets. It provides the cornerstone for prosperous communities – helping local people build their skills and knowledge and encouraging the creation of new businesses and jobs.

“People should also remember that superfast does not mean expensive. In fact, fibre broadband prices are comparable with those of standard broadband. Fibre is an ‘opt in’ service which means you must contact a service provider of your choice to upgrade and with a wide range operating across the UK it is a great time to find a deal to suit you.

“The Broadband East Riding team are doing a great job of making more and more people aware of the benefits of fibre broadband. With download speeds of up to 80Mbps widely available, it really does have the ability to transform the way people and businesses use the internet.”

The Broadband East Riding partnership between East Riding of Yorkshire Council and BT has already made the new technology available to 90 per cent of the county under phase one. The second phase of the project is already underway with 23 cabinets enabled – giving nearly 2000 East Riding premises access to superfast broadband. Around a further 1000 premises will benefit by the end of this year.

All of the engineering work is being carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business.

For local businesses, the fibre network will underpin the introduction of many new services and applications. Big business applications driven by new cloud services will be within the reach of enterprises of all sizes. Computer back up, storage and processing will be faster, and the use of high-quality videoconferencing will become a viable possibility.

Further benefits of faster broadband include households and businesses being able to use multiple bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time, and send and receive large amounts of data much more quickly and efficiently. This will make things like gaming, watching BBC iPlayer or downloading films and music much quicker and without buffering or screen freeze.

Residents can quickly find out if superfast broadband is available by using the postcode checker at broadband.eastriding.gov.uk

The website can also direct residents on how to find the best deal on superfast broadband with an internet service provider of their choice.

In addition to superfast broadband, the UK Government has developed The Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme, for residents and businesses that are unable to access download speeds of at least 2mbps.

Residents and businesses may be entitled to a voucher, up to the value of £350, which can help cover the costs to install alternative broadband technologies, such as satellite and wireless.

To check eligibility and to take advantage of a basic broadband installation subsidy, visit www.broadband.eastriding.gov.uk/rollout/better-broadband-scheme/

[1] Latest figures available from BT based on premises which have access to fibre

[2] BDUK latest Q2 2016 data

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Hs00bNsyRV1WoOt-fow3rsNXzpcKg26AsOWvk1bvJRk/edit#gid=7