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South Yorkshire fibre broadband scheme ahead of schedule

Friday, July 31st 2015 by Ellen Branagh

The first fibre broadband street cabinets in South Yorkshire have “gone live” five months ahead of schedule.

Superfast South Yorkshire said one fibre street cabinet in each of the local authority areas has been upgraded, bringing fibre to around 200 homes and businesses in Rotherham, Doncaster, Sheffield and Barnsley.

Superfast South Yorkshire said more cabinets will be installed and enabled as the first phase of the programme progresses.

A further 70 cabinets will be switched on in locations in Doncaster, Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield, bringing superfast speeds within reach of 10,000 homes and businesses by December this year.

More than 103,000 premises in South Yorkshire are set to benefit from the programme by the end of 2017.

Matt Gladstone, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council executive director for place, who has senior responsibility for Superfast South Yorkshire, said: “Superfast South Yorkshire is off to a fantastic start and it’s great to hear that the first homes and businesses can now benefit from this roll-out even sooner than expected.

“Faster broadband speeds are good for business, good for the local community and will undoubtedly be good for our local economy.

“The success of this programme is not only getting the technology in the ground but also driving awareness of the benefits offered by fibre broadband and encouraging local people to experience them for themselves.

'Leap of faith'

“I would ask everyone to find out what faster broadband speeds can do for them.”

Digital minister Ed Vaizey said: "I'm delighted that the Superfast South Yorkshire programme is off to such a great start, with the first cabinets going live five months ahead of schedule.

“Our nationwide rollout of superfast broadband is now reaching another 40,000 homes and businesses every week, and we are on track to reach 95% of the UK by 2017."

The £22m Superfast South Yorkshire project builds on BT’s commercial rollout in the region, and aims to extend the availability of high-speed, fibre broadband to around 98% of homes and businesses in the city region.

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said fibre enabled people to do things “differently and better”.

“For some it’s a leap of faith to switch from first generation broadband to the new fibre optic technology, but as those local people who are already using it will testify, upgrading is easy and worth doing for a far superior experience.

“The Openreach network is open to all broadband service providers – which helps to drive competition and affordable prices.

“In fact, fibre broadband is now almost the same price as basic broadband so I would urge anyone who can get fibre to place an order from their internet provider superfast.”

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