As befits a former BT training centre, Yarnfield is one of the first Staffordshire villages to benefit from the £27.87 million Superfast Staffordshire fibre broadband partnership which rolls out this month.
Superfast Staffordshire is a partnership between Staffordshire County Council, BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, enabling more than 88,000 homes and businesses in mainly rural areas to access high-speed broadband.
95 per cent of homes and businesses across the county will have access to superfast broadband by spring 2016. 180 Megabits per second (Mbps) and 330Mbps are top wholesale speeds, but individual line speeds will depend on network infrastructure and the service chosen by the Internet Service Provider (ISP), the County Council cautions. ISPs may use different speeds in their advertising.
The programme will see the laying of more than one million metres of fibre optic cable and around 500 new street-side cabinets installed to connect people to the new network across the county. The network will be installed by Openreach. This partnership rollout is in addition to BT’s commercial rollout which will enable more than 370,000 county premises to access faster fibre broadband by the end of Spring 2014.
However, the devil will be in the detail; when an area has ‘gone live’, the upgrade doesn’t happen automatically, spokesperson Emma Tennant from BT advises. People have to opt to upgrade once the street-side cabinet that serves them has been switched on.
“They can choose from a number of different suppliers of fibre broadband – typically around 80 or more different companies – rather than being restricted to one specific network company”
Details of fibre broadband providers are available on the Openreach website and the Superfast Staffordshire website.
Nor will the faster service come for free.
“Prices vary, so people can shop around,”
Emma pointed out.
“This might mean they end up staying with the company they currently take broadband from, or they might choose to switch to a different provider.”
In areas where fibre is already available, we’re finding that people are often paying very little more a month – and in some cases the same or even less – for the far superior fibre broadband service.”
Progress on the rollout can be tracked via Twitter (@superfaststaffs) and the Superfast Staffordshire website: www.superfaststaffordshire.co.uk