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‘Finishing line in sight’ for West Yorkshire superfast broadband project

Wednesday, May 20th 2015 by Dean Reilly

A project that aims to bring superfast broadband to West Yorkshire has entered its final stages, organisers have said.

The Superfast West Yorkshire fibre broadband rollout is said to be on course for the majority of the project to be completed by the end of June.

Writing in the Superfast West Yorkshire newsletter, a spokesperson said: “It has been a busy few months but all the hard work is paying off, and we now have the finishing line in our sights.

"We have built the vast majority of the cable network, with only relatively small amounts left that are subject to the finishing stages of deployment.”

The newsletter goes onto explain that these final stages will include getting local planning consent for new fibre cabinets and connecting them to a power supply before switching them on.

Superfast West Yorkshire reported that 56,069 premises in that part of the county could now access superfast broadband – approximately 87% of the final target.

As part of the rollout, a total of 423 new fibre green roadside cabinets have been installed across the region, with 384 connected and active.

There are still 98 cabinets scheduled for installation, bringing fibre to an additional 7,402 premises, which are expected to help Superfast West Yorkshire hit its next milestone by the end of June.

The final round of installations will take the total number of homes and premises with access to superfast broadband to 63,471.

Superfast West Yorkshire also reported that it had completed the installation of its largest capacity cabinet in the Morley area.

The new cabinet can provide broadband to 629 premises in the immediate vicinity.

Second phase

The £21.96m Superfast West Yorkshire project builds on a BT commercial investment of £2.5bn in the region.

Leeds City Council, Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Wakefield Council and Calderdale Council are working alongside BT to extend superfast broadband – defined as an internet connection of 24Mbps or higher – to 97% of households and businesses across most of West Yorkshire by the end of 2015.

The project has also set a target of 2Mbps as the minimum speed that all premises in the area can access.

Discussions are ongoing between Superfast West Yorkshire, the government and other West Yorkshire authorities about a proposed second phase of the project.

No decision has yet been made about any future rollouts of fibre broadband in the region.

Funding for the project is made up of investment from BDUK, the European Regional Development Fund, BT and West Yorkshire local authorities.

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