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Thousands more Warwickshire households and businesses to get fibre broadband thanks to £2 million expansion

Press Release   •   Jan 17, 2017 14:14 GMT

An Openreach engineer working to install fibre broadband

The CSW Broadband partnership has announced a major expansion that will enable a further 3,500 households and businesses in some of the county’s smallest communities to join the information superhighway for the first time.

More than 30 additional communities will be upgraded as part of the new programme, lead partners Warwickshire County Council and BT announced today. Details of the areas to benefit will be included in the map to be produced by CSW Broadband at the end of January.

BT has made £2 million available for reinvestment in the programme as a result of the ‘gainshare’ mechanism in the contract, which has been triggered by strong take-up of fibre broadband by local households and businesses. Nearly 40 per cent of county households and businesses able to upgrade to the new technology as a result the CSW Broadband roll-out have chosen to do so - a figure which is among the highest levels of take-up in the country.

The upgrade work will begin in the Summer and take around 18 months to complete.

Meanwhile, the CSW Broadband roll-out continues elsewhere. Engineers are currently working in Barford, Claverdon, Dunchurch, Haseley Knob and Southam to enable hundreds more households and businesses to connect to fibre broadband this Spring.

Warwickshire County Councillor Alan Cockburn, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Finance and Property, said: “Once again, the CSW Broadband project is taking the superfast coverage even further than we had originally envisaged. This latest announcement shows the commitment of the funding partners to ensuring that residents and businesses are able to benefit from the modern communications technology that is so often taken for granted by those who already have superfast access.”

Ian Binks, BT’s Regional Manager for Warwickshire and the West Midlands, said:“Our CSW Broadband partnership has already made huge progress in making fibre broadband available across Warwickshire. This expansion is great news for those communities in the county not included in the current roll-out programme. High-speed broadband plays such an important role in everyday life for households and businesses. Whether you’re working from home, doing homework or online shopping, everything is easier and faster with fibre broadband.”

Warwickshire County Councillor, Philip Johnson, Chair of Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said: “Fast and reliable broadband access is fundamental to life today, so this is indeed good news. It is important to remember that upgrading the infrastructure is only part of the story, and it is necessary for people to contact their internet service provider to request a faster broadband package”.

More than 56,000premises now have access to faster fibre broadband as a result of the CSW Broadband roll-out. Updates on the roll-out are available from: www.cswbroadband.org.uk

Because the fibre broadband network is being installed by Openreach – BT’s local network business – households and businesses can choose from a wide range of fibre broadband providers. They need to place an order with a provider in order to benefit from the service.

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Issued by Warwickshire County Council and BT on behalf of the CSW Broadband partnership.

For more information please contact Leigh Hunt at the CSW Broadband project office on 01926 738339 or email: broadband@cswbroadband.org.uk

Or

Emma Tennant at the BT regional press office on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.com Twitter: @EmmaTennantBT

About CSW Broadband

The CSW Broadband roll-out is using a mixture of technologies. These include Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP), which provides speeds up to 330Mbps and upload speeds of up to 30Mbps; and Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC), which provides download speeds of up to 80Mbps and download speeds of up to 20Mbps. In addition there are some premises that are currently connected directly to the telephone exchange rather than via a green roadside cabinet, sometimes known as Exchange Only (EO) lines. In order to connect EO lines, further roadside cabinets have to be installed. (Speeds referred to are the top wholesale speeds available from BT’s local network business, Openreach, to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.)

The CSW Broadband programme is made up of different phases and contracts.

The £2 million expansion - highlighted in this press release - has been made available to the CSW Broadband programme as a result of the ‘gainshare’ mechanism in the original contract. It has been triggered by strong take-up of fibre broadband by local households and businesses. It is known as Contract 2, Part 2.

Contract 2, Part 1 of the CSW Broadband programme was announced in February 2015. The deal was spearheaded by Warwickshire County Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, which are contributing an initial £3.68 million and £0.38 million respectively, with an additional £2.61m from BT and a further £4.06m from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Superfast Extension Programme (SEP).When complete, it will increase the percentage of homes and businesses able to access high-speed fibre broadband in Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire to nearly 94 per cent when combined with the first phase of the CSW Broadband roll-out already underway and the private sector investments of companies like BT. The first part of the CSW Broadband roll-out is known as Contract 1which started connecting the first homes and businesses in April 2014. This £15.47 million deal was spearheaded by Warwickshire County Council, BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, to enable around 40,000 premises to access high-speed fibre broadband.

As the property-level mapping is still in development, the CSW Broadband team is asking people to check the map at www.cswbroadband.org.uk and to report any discrepancies by using the simple online form.

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

    About BT

    BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services.BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

    For the year ended 31 March 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m.

    British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

    For more information, visit www.btplc.com

    All BT news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.btplc.com/News