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Berkshire superfast broadband project nears 20,000 homes

Monday, August 17th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

Nearly 20,000 homes and business across Berkshire can now access fibre broadband.

A total of 19,300 premises in the county are now able to receive fibre broadband from a total of 98 cabinets in the area.

The rollout, which builds on areas already covered by commercial fibre rollouts, is hoped to bring superfast broadband to areas which were unlikely to receive it otherwise.

By the end of September, when phase one of the project is expected to be completed, it is expected that more than 91% of the county will be able to access superfast speeds.

And it is hoped that savings as well as extra investment will mean that more cash will be available to expand coverage beyond 95%.

The figures come after the government last week announced that the nationwide rollout of superfast broadband had passed more than 3m premises.

Officials said the national rollout, which is reaching around 5,000 extra homes and businesses each day, is on track to reach 95% of the UK by 2017.

These improvements in Berkshire are the result of more than £8.7m investment from the six Berkshire unitary councils, the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).

'Lasting legacy'

Reading Borough Council has invested £285,436 in the Superfast Berkshire Broadband Programme with the aim of creating 94.9% superfast availability in Reading by the end of 2015 and 98% availability by the end of 2017.

The council’s deputy leader councillor Tony Page said: "The council has made a significant investment in superfast broadband as we recognise its importance to individuals and businesses.

"I'm delighted that, in partnership with BT, we've upgraded the broadband capability to more than 813 Reading homes already and the first phase is yet to complete.

“We're making good progress and I know people are very enthusiastic about the roll out of superfast broadband across the area."

Digital minister Ed Vaizey praised Superfast Berkshire for its “incredible progress” and Dave Axam, BT's south east regional director, said: "This exciting technology is transforming the opportunities for communities across Berkshire and the UK as a whole.

"Successful broadband partnerships are creating a lasting legacy, which will play a key role in the future prosperity of communities for many years to come."

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