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Lincolnshire broadband rollout to reach another 4,000 homes

Tuesday, June 16th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

The village of Gunness has become the latest community in Northern Lincolnshire to benefit from superfast broadband speeds.

The Northern Lincs Broadband (NLBB) project has rolled out 154 fibre cabinets across the county, passing 31,000 homes and businesses.

A second phase of the multi-million pound programme will take the technology to a further 4,000 premises.

Scawby Brook was the first community to benefit when the first cabinet was switched on in March 2014.

The NLBB project was set up to expand on BT’s commercial rollout of fibre broadband and has achieved its aim of providing high-speed fibre broadband access to around 92.5% of Northern Lincolnshire by June 2015.

NLBB has recently signed a contract with BT to roll out the second phase of the scheme, funded by investment from BT and government funding from the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

Detailed rollout plans will be announced in the coming months with the first communities included expected to benefit from the new technology from March 2016 onwards.

A map of the areas that will benefit from superfast broadband will be available as soon as detailed surveying and planning has been completed.

'Fantastic feedback'

Liz Redfern, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said the first phase of the NLBB project has been a great success.

“It was in the top six nationally for completing the rollout the quickest, which is a brilliant achievement,” she said.

“The team, working alongside BT, worked extremely hard to ensure the rollout of high-speed broadband reached the target of 31,000 on schedule.

“We have received fantastic feedback from residents and businesses that can now access superfast broadband – especially in rural areas. They are now able to take advantage of the variety of benefits that high-speed fibre broadband brings.”

She said the places currently without superfast broadband had not been forgotten about.

“We are now planning the second phase of the project to reach even more areas across North Lincolnshire.”

More than £7m of funding was earmarked for the first phase of the project which has already made high-speed fibre broadband available to thousands of homes and businesses in parts of Brigg, Grimsby, Barton-upon-Humber, Scartho, Epworth, Healing, Burton-upon-Stather and Ulceby, plus many more areas.

'Virtual tour'

This investment was made up of government funding from BDUK, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), North Lincolnshire Council and BT.

Mel Banham, from Lindsey Lodge Hospice in Scunthorpe, has seen a huge difference now the hospice has access to superfast broadband.

It has changed the way various aspects of its charitable services are both delivered and supported.

“With superfast broadband now in place it has helped Lindsey Lodge Hospice to get wi-fi installed so that patients, their families and visitors can enjoy the same internet access they have at home and can carry on life as they would normally," said Mr Banham.

“Superfast broadband also enables people to enjoy improved access speed to our website offering new features such as the virtual tour of the hospice.

“We are also using social media to communicate which is a great way for people to find out more about the hospice.”

Tom Keeney, BT’s regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Superfast broadband will help improve access to jobs, allow local companies to compete in the global marketplace, create new opportunities for local people in the way they work, learn and enjoy their leisure time, and help young people make use of educational resources online.

“As millions of UK households and businesses have discovered, fibre broadband opens up a whole new world to internet users.

“We are focused not just on delivering the high-speed infrastructure but making sure that the benefits are fully exploited. I would encourage people to contact the internet service provider of their choice to find out what faster internet could do for them.”

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