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Royal Crescent residents part-fund Bath superfast broadband cabinet

Monday, August 10th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

Residents on one of the country’s most famous addresses have helped fund their own access to superfast broadband as part of a project with BT.

Homes and businesses in Bath’s Royal Crescent and the surrounding area now have access to speeds up to 80Mbps thanks to a new cabinet funded by residents and BT Openreach.

The project, which involved the local community 'co-funding' the cost of the cabinet and cabling with Openreach, came about because the area was not included in the rollout of fibre broadband in the city.

The Royal Crescent is one of the most filmed locations in England and has been featured in films including The Duchess, starring Keira Knightley, as well as various TV dramas and other programmes.

Colin Clarkson–Short, chairman of the Royal Crescent Society, said: “This is a vital step into the future for an historic location, which is famous throughout the world.

“Local residents are keen to use superfast broadband for a whole range of reasons, such as entertainment, business and learning.

“Previously, we got significantly slower speeds, which prevented us making the most of being online.

“When we realised that we would not be included in existing superfast plans we got together as a community to work with BT to solve the problem. It was a great example of the local community working together.”

'Challenges'

The new cabinet, in Upper Church Street, serves businesses and residential customers in the surrounding area, as well as the Royal Crescent itself.

Paul Coles, BT South West regional manager, said: “We were very pleased to be able to work together with local residents to find a superfast broadband solution for this particular area in Bath.

“More than 34,000 households and businesses served by the main telephone exchange in Bath now have access to high-speed fibre broadband as well as dedicated ethernet services, offering speeds up to 10Gbps, through BT’s commercial investment in the city.

“However, this particular area posed additional engineering and commercial challenges and so a partnership approach was needed.”

The co-funding deal for the Royal Crescent is the second project in recent months where residents in the Bath area have contributed to getting superfast broadband.

In May, residents in the village of Claverton, just outside Bath, also celebrated the completion of a similar project.

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