Superfast broadband extension an 'important chapter' for Worcestershire
The rollout of superfast broadband in Worcestershire is being extended to serve a further 8,000 homes and businesses.
More than 22,000 premises are already able to sign up to the high-speed technology out of the 55,000 planned in the first phase of the Superfast Worcestershire programme, which will finish at the end of June 2016.
The project is being extended thanks to a £6.2m investment by the government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme, the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and BT.
Work on the new network upgrades will begin next year and be completed by summer 2018.
When the extension of the programme is complete it will increase the percentage of homes and businesses able to access fibre-based broadband in Worcestershire to more than 95%.
Residents and businesses choosing to sign up to the new improved network will be able to get download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps.
The extension to the programme will bring additional fibre broadband coverage to each of Worcestershire’s six districts.
The anticipated deployment plan includes parts of Trimpley and Rowney Green, the Lenches and new areas around the Teme Valley as well as parts of Beckford.
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “Our rollout of superfast broadband in Worcestershire is proceeding at pace and we're on track to take coverage to 95% of the UK by 2017.
“Already an additional 22,000 homes and businesses in Worcestershire can now access superfast speeds as a result of our work, and I’m delighted that this additional investment means our project will now reach another 8,000 properties.”
Sander Kirstel, director of commercial and change at Worcestershire County Council, said local demand for improved broadband speeds is high.
“The extension programme will further improve fibre broadband speeds and increase the reach of our coverage,” he said.
“This is great news for residents and businesses. As well as driving business growth, fibre broadband offers new online learning and entertainment opportunities for households.
“The technology will also support our Digital Council transformation over the next decade.”
Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for broadband partnerships, called the announcement “another important chapter in the development of Worcestershire”.
“Increasingly, the internet is touching our lives in new and innovative ways, whether it’s people working from home or families wanting to connect lots of different devices at the same time," he said.
"Everything is better with high-speed fibre broadband, which is why our project teams are committed to bringing the benefits of this technology to as many communities as possible, as quickly as possible."
Gary Woodman, executive director of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It is great news that contracts are being signed today so that work can continue at pace to build on the Superfast Worcestershire programme and bring access to superfast broadband to around 94% of homes and business premises by summer 2018.
“We know how important this technology is locally and in ensuring that Worcestershire continues to be a world class place to do business.
“I would encourage people to register for updates so you can upgrade at the earliest opportunity to benefit from the high speeds.”
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