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Superfast broadband 'as important as road or rail' to Staffordshire village

Friday, April 17th 2015 by Dean Reilly

A Staffordshire village has become the latest community to benefit from the rollout of superfast broadband across the county.

Gnosall, a village and civil parish with a population of approximately 4,700 people, has been reached by the Superfast Staffordshire fibre broadband programme.

The connection of the village, which is roughly half-way between Newport in Shropshire and Stafford, takes the number of premises passed by the programme to 34,000.

Superfast Staffordshire is a partnership between Staffordshire County Council, BT and the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

Staffordshire County Council’s economy leader Mark Winnington (right, pictured with BT senior project manager Kasam Hussain) said: “The Superfast Staffordshire project is vital to people and businesses.

“It will increase opportunities, accessibility and economic growth. This infrastructure is as important as road or rail. Now Gnosall residents can get connected which is good news for people and businesses in the village.

“We’ve reached 34,000 properties across the county now as the roll-out continues to gather pace.”

Hardest-to-reach

When combined with private sector and commercial investments, Superfast Staffordshire aims to bring fibre broadband connectivity to 97% of premises in the county by spring 2016.

The Superfast Staffordshire team say that once an area has “gone live”, residents, businesses and visitors will be able to benefit from download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps.

According to research published in 2013 by telecoms regulator Ofcom, the average urban download speed in the UK was 31.9Mbps, the average suburban download speed 21.8Mbps and average rural speeds were 11.3Mbps.

Superfast Stafforshire is carried on the Openreach network, meaning that consumers will have the choice of a range of internet service providers when deciding which broadband package is right for them.

Cable.co.uk previously reported that the government is to subsidise installation of satellite broadband in some of the country's hardest-to-reach areas.

Residents or businesses in areas not covered by the ongoing rollout of superfast fibre broadband will, under the new scheme, be given help to install a superfast-capable satellite service.

The plan, due to be launched later this year, will see the government subsidise both the cost of installation and receiver equipment, with consumers only paying for the broadband service itself.

The government has committed to delivering broadband speeds of 24Mbps or faster to 95% of the UK by December 2017.

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