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Burton's fibre broadband rollout reaches hundreds more homes

Monday, June 20th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Hundreds of premises in Burton-on-Trent can now access fibre broadband for the first time – thanks in part to the town’s MP and a local business.

The Wetmore Road area is the latest part of Burton to benefit from the Superfast Staffordshire rollout, which is led by Staffordshire County Council and BT.

More than 400 homes and businesses can now upgrade – but installing the necessary infrastructure wasn’t easy.

Fibre cabling and street cabinets are usually installed on council land, but as that wasn’t possible, engineers had to look for alternative options.

After residents and Burton MP Andrew Griffiths stepped in to help find a solution, a home for the area’s new fibre cabinet was found at local waste management firm Wilshee’s.

Dean Willshee, the company’s managing director said: “When the situation was explained to us, we were pleased to help. The arrival of faster fibre broadband is great news for the area.”

Andrew Griffiths MP said: “This is a great example of what can be achieved when we work together, and I’m delighted fibre broadband is now live in another part of Burton-on-Trent.

“I’m keen for as many local people as possible to have access to this important technology and will continue to support Superfast Staffordshire as they work to find solutions for the pockets of the county that are not yet covered.”

Councillor Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s economy leader, said: “We're reaching the final stages of the Superfast Staffordshire project; connecting tens of thousands of properties and opening up opportunities for people and business.

“From time to time we face a challenge like this, so we're grateful to Wilshee's and the input of Mr Griffiths. This is going to make a real difference to yet another Staffordshire community.”

'Ten times faster'

Father-of-two Paul Smith, who was one of the first residents in the Wetmore Road area to upgrade, said his family had noticed the difference straight away.

He said: “As a family we use the internet in lots of different ways both for leisure and learning.

“We have all noticed the difference since upgrading to fibre broadband. It was easy to upgrade and our download and upload speeds are now ten times faster making gaming and watching videos online much more fun."

Lee Bailey, managing director of flooring company Central Floors, based at the nearby Northside Business Park, hopes upgrading to fibre broadband will increase the productivity of the firm.

He said: “We rely heavily on the internet to run our company – we use it for everything, from making customer appointments to pricing.

“Nearly all of our sales are made online so our website is very important to us as our shop window.

“We update the site ourselves and hope the improved upload speeds will enable us showcase many more new product lines, and in turn hopefully lead to an increase in our sales.”

Kasam Hussain, BT’s senior project manager for Superfast Staffordshire, said: “The rollout of Superfast Staffordshire is a huge engineering programme, but is progressing well. Every day we’re seeing how this exciting technology is benefiting local people in different ways.”

Pictured, left to right, are Superfast Staffordshire project manager Paul Chatwin, BT's Kasam Hussain, Wilshee's managing director Dean Willshee and MP Andrew Griffiths.

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