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Leicestershire gets £9.2m superfast broadband boost

Thursday, March 26th 2015 by Dean Reilly

The £9.2 million expansion of a Leicestershire superfast broadband project will bring high-speed broadband to rural communities across the county.

The Superfast Leicestershire partnership between Leicestershire County Council and BT will enable more than 10,000 extra homes and businesses to access fibre broadband as part of the Government’s Superfast Extension Programme.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “We want as many people as possible to enjoy the benefits of superfast broadband, and this new £9.2 million investment will help us reach another 10,000 local homes and businesses.

“By 2017, 95% of the UK will be able to access superfast speeds and I congratulate Superfast Leicestershire for the remarkable progress they have made already in helping us deliver this.”

Pam Posnett, Leicestershire County Council’s cabinet member for rural broadband, said: “This contract builds on the success of our current rollout and will enable us to drive broadband speeds up across rural Leicestershire.

“This is an exciting project that is continuing at pace, connecting more communities and businesses together thanks to the internet.”

Areas of Leicestershire expected to benefit from the contract extension include Frisby on the Wreake, Eastwell, Seagrave, Shawell, Lockington, Congerstone and Orton-on-the-Hill, as well as additional parts of South Wigston, Stoney, Stanton, Blaby, Ullesthorpe and Burton on the Wolds.

It is expected that the first properties to benefit from this latest phase will do so from the end of 2016, with the entire rollout expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

'Tens of thousands of homes'

Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for next generation access, said: “The Superfast Leicestershire partnership has already made fibre broadband available to tens of thousands of homes and businesses across the county.

“This has transformed the way people use the internet, the services that local businesses are able to provide, and the way that everyone can learn online.

"We’re delighted to have been selected by the council to work with them to extend that reach even further in the coming years.”

More than 25,000 homes and businesses already have access to superfast broadband across the county as a result of the first Superfast Leicestershire contract signed between Leicestershire County Council and BT in 2013.

During this first phase, 124 green roadside fibre cabinets were installed, with more than 270kms of fibre cable laid.

It is predicted that fibre broadband, delivering speeds of 24Mbps or higher, will be available to more than 360,000 homes and businesses across Leicestershire by the end of 2018.

Of this figure, 62,000 premises will have been reached by the original Superfast Leicestershire rollout, a further 10,000 from the extension of the programme, with the remaining 290,000 – or 80.5% of premises – being served by BT’s commercial broadband rollout.

The nearly £10m extension project included contributions of £3.45m from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), £2.3m from BT, £2m from the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) and £1.45m from the county council.

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