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Worcestershire children brought up to speed on latest fibre broadband technology

Press Release   •   Oct 06, 2016 12:27 BST

Openreach apprentice Mike Grant, BT's Paul Bimson and Councillor Adrian Hardman (back right) with pupils from Bredon Hancock's Endowed Church of England School

Worcestershire youngsters dressed up in onesies for the day – for an unusual lesson in information communications technology (ICT) from the Superfast Worcestershire partnership.

The children, who attend Bredon Hancock’s Endowed Church of England First School, were learning about some of the technology behind the Superfast Worcestershire programme, which is being led by Worcestershire County Council and BT.

The multi-million pound roll-out of fibre broadband – which is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme – is using a range of technologies to ensure as many properties as possible are able to access faster fibre broadband.

As well as the conventional fibre broadband road-side cabinets, Superfast Worcestershire are also building around 80 ‘all-in-one’ cabinets, known as ‘onesies’, which are used to connect some of the county’s more remote communities to the fibre network, including parts of Bredon.

The children were given an insight into how the technology works by an apprentice from Openreach, BT’s local network business. They were joined by Councillor Adrian Hardman and representatives from the Superfast Worcestershire partnership.

Mrs Melanie Millar, the head teacher, said: “The internet plays such an important part in learning nowadays – in the classroom and at home – and it’s great for our students to be given this unusual insight into how it all works. It’s great news that faster fibre broadband is becoming more widely available thanks to the Superfast Worcestershire roll-out.”

As well as Bredon, fibre broadband has recently gone live in additional parts of Badsey, Birtsmorton, Hartlebury, Hillside, Kidderminster, Ombersley, Pershore, Redditch, Rock, Stoulton and the Cross area of Worcester. Elsewhere, areas of Cotheridge, Eardiston and Severn Stoke are now able to access faster fibre broadband for the first time as a result of the programme.

More than 62,000 homes and businesses in the county can now order faster fibre broadband as a result of Superfast Worcestershire. The figure increases to around 243,000 when combined with private sector investments by companies such as BT.

County councillor Adrian Hardman said: “It’s great to see new and innovative technology being used to support the fibre roll-out in Worcestershire.

“Our investment in bringing faster broadband to rural areas is fast becoming a reality for many in the county. Residents and businesses will be able to take advantage of faster internet speeds and all the benefits this brings both at home and in the workplace.

“Being able to use new and innovative technology demonstrates the art of the possible in taking faster broadband speeds to those areas that would have otherwise been left behind.”

Paul Bimson, BT’s regional partnership director, said: “Fibre broadband is transforming the way people of all ages use the internet. Whether it’s children going online to do their homework or to play games, or parents using it for internet shopping or catch-up TV - everything is easier, better and faster with fibre broadband.

“The technology also makes it much easier for people to work from home or run a business, because using fibre broadband means you can share large files and update and browse websites without any annoying delays or buffering.”

Note to Editors

The Superfast Worcestershire roll-out is using a mixture of technologies. These include Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC), which provides download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload 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.

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Press contacts:

Issued on behalf of Superfast Worcestershire by Worcestershire County Council and BT.

For more information please call Worcestershire County Council on 01905 766646 or email commsunit@worcestershire.gov.uk

Or

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

All BT news releases are available at http://www.btplc.com/News

About Superfast Worcestershire:

Superfast Worcestershire is a partnership between Worcestershire County Council, BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme. In the first phase Worcestershire County Council is contributing up to £8.5 million, with an additional £8.9 million from BT, and a further £4.45 million from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds through the Superfast Britain initiative (please see below) to make a total of £21.85 million.

A further contract to extend the programme was signed in March 2015 to increase the percentage of homes and businesses able to access fibre-based broadband in Worcestershire to more than 95 per cent when the private sector’s commercial roll-out of the technology is included. The total amount of funding available for the extension to the programme is £6.2 million, comprising £2.39 million grant funding each from the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) fund and the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership through the Government's Growth Deal, and £1.42 million from BT to make a total of £6.2 million.

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