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Superfast Leicestershire: Take-up of fibre has doubled in a year

Wednesday, May 4th 2016 by Ellen Branagh

The number of people signing up for fibre-based broadband in Leicestershire has more than doubled in the past 12 months, according to BT.

The telecoms giant, which is responsible for the superfast rollout alongside Leicestershire County Council, said more than 25% of homes and businesses have signed up to a fibre package, compared to around 10% a year ago.

The multi-million pound partnership has already made fibre available to more than 63,000 premises across the county, with the number continuing to grow.

Councillor Blake Pain, Leicestershire's cabinet member for rural broadband, said: “It is great to see residents and businesses in connected areas taking advantage of the new speeds available and I hope communities continue to benefit from the rollout.”

Some of the most recent areas to benefit from the fibre rollout include parts of Birstall, Earl Shilton, Hinckley and Melton Mowbray and the project is on track to make superfast broadband available to more than 72,000 premises in Leicestershire by the end of 2018.

Superfast Leicestershire’s initial contract is due to finish shortly but a second contract, worth nearly £10m, was announced last year and will benefit an extra 10,000 premises.

This includes homes and businesses in Braunstone Town, Burton-on-the-Wolds, Ullesthorpe, Market Bosworth, Kegworth, Wigston and Eastwell.

By 2018, more than 410,000 homes and businesses in total across Leicestershire are hoped to have access to fibre broadband as part of the Superfast Leicestershire programme as well as commercial providers including BT.

'Popular'

Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for next generation access, said: “We are delighted the rollout in Leicestershire is proving to be so popular.

“The Superfast Leicestershire team are doing a great job of making more and more people aware of the benefits of fibre broadband.

“With download speeds of up to 80Mbps widely available, it really does have the ability to transform the way people and businesses use the internet.”

The Superfast Leicestershire programme is funded by organisations including the county council, other local authorities, BT, the government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership as part of its Local Growth Fund.

The government has set a target of bringing superfast broadband (speeds of 24Mbps and above) to 95% of the UK by the end of 2017.

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