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Four Rutland villages to benefit from extension of fibre broadband rollout

Tuesday, April 12th 2016 by Ellen Branagh

Work is underway to provide fibre broadband to around 900 homes and businesses across four Rutland villages.

The work is an extension of the original programme by the Digital Rutland broadband partnership with BT, which has already connected thousands of people across the county.

More than 9,500 premises have already benefited, with recent figures suggesting the take-up of fibre in Rutland – at 45% – is higher than any other county.

The second phase of the rollout is set to benefit the villages of Barleythorpe, Bisbrooke, Braunston (pictured) and Pickworth, with survey and planning work already underway.

This will be followed by work to install new underground fibre cables and, in some areas, new green roadside fibre broadband cabinets.

Councillor Terry King, Rutland County Council’s portfolio holder for development, said: “When the council and BT first embarked on Digital Rutland in 2012, we couldn’t have predicted just how successful the programme would be.

“Four years later, Rutland is leading the way in the UK with more than 45% of homes and businesses having already signed up to a fibre broadband package.

“Once complete, this next phase of work will mean that around 95% of premises in Rutland are able to connect to fibre broadband and enjoy all the benefits associated with faster internet speeds.

“We’re also exploring solutions for any remaining properties with the aim of ensuring that all homes and businesses in the county can access speeds of at least 2Mbps.”

Further work on the fibre rollout is also taking place in Barnsdale, Burley, Egleton, Gunthorpe, Little Casterton, Pilton, Ridlington, Ryhall, Tickencote, Tinwell, Tolethorpe and Wardley.

'Early success'

Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for next generation access, said: “Rutland was one of the very first projects to sign a contract with BT and we look forward to building on our early success by extending the programme even further.

“Fibre broadband is such a key part of everyday life and I’m sure people living in these four villages are looking forward to being able to sign-up to a fibre broadband package.”

Digital Rutland is a multi-million pound partnership between Rutland County Council, BT and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).

Yesterday, BT Openreach announced that its fibre-based broadband network had passed 25m premises.

Openreach chief executive Clive Selley said: “The UK is making great progress with fibre broadband.

“Availability and take up are well ahead of most European countries and I’d like to thank the thousands of Openreach engineers who have worked so tirelessly to make this happen.

“The job isn’t finished however and we are working hard to get coverage to 95% and above. We are also exploring how we can improve speeds for the million or so premises in the final few per cent of the country.”

Picture courtesy of Mat Fascione.

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