MULTI-MILLION POUND PROJECT CELEBRATES MAJOR 500th FIBRE CABINET MILESTONE
Barton Gate, Churchbridge, Fazeley, Harlaston and Woodseaves among the latest communities to benefit
Partners in the multi-million pound Superfast Staffordshire project today announced they were at Loggerheads – but in the best possible way!
Loggerheads is the name of the community where the project’s 500th fibre broadband cabinet has just gone live. It serves 70 properties on the Burntwood Estate. The cabinet is the eighth to become operational in the parish and brings the number of Loggerheads homes and businesses able to connect to faster fibre broadband to around 1,500.
Barton Gate and Harlaston are among some of the other communities to benefit recently from the roll-out as well as additional parts of Churchbridge, Fazeley and Woodseaves.
Engineering work began two and a half years ago on Superfast Staffordshire, which is led by Staffordshire County Council and BT and is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme. Since then the programme has enabled more than 90,000 households and businesses to connect to fast broadband speeds.
Karen Watkins, parish clerk for Loggerheads, welcomed the news. She said:
“We recently surveyed parish residents and businesses when drawing up our neighbourhood plan and the overwhelming majority of responses highlighted faster broadband as an important requirement for people living and working in this rural community. I am, therefore, delighted that so many households and businesses will now be able to upgrade their service to high-speed fibre broadband.
“From a personal point of view, high-speed broadband will make life a lot easier for me when working from home and when my two sons are home and all four of us want to be online at the same time. I was very pleased to find out when I applied for an upgrade at home that, not only would we be able to get a package offering us unlimited broadband, it would also be cheaper than my previous service!”
Upgrading to fibre broadband does not happen automatically. It’s an ‘opt in’ service. Because the network is being installed by Openreach, BT’s local network business, it is ‘open’ so residents and businesses wanting to upgrade have a wide choice of fibre broadband service providers.
Councillor Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader, said:
“The roll-out of the Superfast Staffordshire programme is continuing at pace with communities across the county reaping the benefits. The feedback to the parish council on the importance of being able to connect to faster broadband speeds demonstrates the value of this project to Staffordshire people.
“Together with commercial coverage, over 93 per cent of Staffordshire properties will now be able to connect to superfast fibre broadband, and 95 per cent by the end of 2017.”
Ian Binks, BT’s regional manager for Staffordshire and the West Midlands, said:
“Superfast Staffordshire is a multi-million pound engineering programme which is progressing extremely well. When combined with BT’s commercial roll-out, around 465,000 premises across Staffordshire are now able to access faster fibre broadband.
“Every day we’re seeing how this technology is making a positive impact on local households and businesses. Whether it’s people working from home, families using the internet for education or leisure or a business seeking to be more competitive and efficient – everything you do online is faster and better with fibre broadband.”
People can follow the Superfast Staffordshire roll-out and find out more about how they could benefit from high speed fibre broadband via the website: www.superfaststaffordshire.co.uk