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Sandbach residents to benefit from Connecting Cheshire's 500th fibre cabinet

Wednesday, May 25th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

A new fibre cabinet is set to bring superfast broadband access to 690 homes and businesses in Sandbach.

The cabinet is the seventh to be installed in the town – and the 500th to go live as part of the Connecting Cheshire rollout.

The project, a partnership between Cheshire’s councils and BT, has brought fibre within reach of 85,000 premises across the county.

Take-up has also been among the highest in the country, with around 30,000 households and businesses signing up to fibre services so far.

One Sandbach business already benefitting from faster broadband speeds is the award-winning Lois’s Little Cake Company.

Owner Debbie Fenton said: “Having superfast broadband at my new shop in Sandbach has made a big difference.

“I can now manage our website and social media much more easily and offer customers free wi-fi too – so faster broadband really is the icing on the cake.”

Councillor Peter Groves, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for finance and assets, said: “Reaching this milestone of 500 cabinets has been a tremendous achievement for the Connecting Cheshire project.

“Coupled with the strong take-up by consumers, it demonstrates that many more homes and businesses are now benefitting from faster broadband across every aspect of their lives, not only for work, but also education, training and entertainment.”

Mike Blackburn, BT’s north west regional director, said: “High-speed fibre broadband helps to ensure that businesses thrive and don’t just survive and helps keep communities connected. Whatever you do online you can do it better with fibre broadband.

'Significant milestone'

“Across Cheshire, BT has made fibre available to tens of thousands of local households and businesses through its own commercial programme and its investment in Connecting Cheshire.

“The highly successful Connecting Cheshire partnership has worked very hard to reach this significant milestone today and continues to make strong progress.”

The Connecting Cheshire project was launched in April 2013 and is a partnership of four councils – Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton, and Warrington – and BT.

Its first phase, a £28.5m rollout, was funded by £13.6m from the European Development Fund, £9m from BT, £4m from BDUK and £1.85m provided jointly from the councils.

A £6m phase two project will reach a further 10,000 premises by summer 2017.

Pictured, left to right, are Cllr Barry Moran of Cheshire East Council, Jenny Westwood of Connecting Cheshire, Cllr Mike Benson of Sandbach Town Council and Tony Morgan, contract director BT Group.

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