Superfast West Yorkshire completes first phase of broadband rollout ahead of schedule
Superfast West Yorkshire has completed the first phase of its superfast broadband rollout.
The programme has made fibre broadband available to 65,000 homes and businesses since the rollout began in January 2014 – 500 more than its original target and three months ahead of schedule.
The milestone comes as the government announced that the nationwide rollout of superfast broadband – overseen by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) – had reached more than 3m premises.
Digital economy minister Ed Vaizey said: “We are transforming the digital landscape of the UK and our nationwide rollout of superfast broadband has now reached an additional 3m UK homes and businesses.
“I congratulate Superfast West Yorkshire on having reached almost 65,000 properties in West Yorkshire so far and on making incredible progress.”
The Superfast West Yorkshire project was set up to expand on BT’s commercial rollout with the aim of providing high-speed fibre broadband to 97% of West Yorkshire by September 2015.
The programme, funded by Bradford, Leeds, Calderdale and Wakefield councils, BDUK and BT, has seen Openreach engineers lay 321km of cable and install 393 new fibre broadband street cabinets.
A second phase of the project has recently been agreed, which will enable a further 28,000 premises to access the new technology by the end of 2018.
Ian Gray, chair of the Superfast West Yorkshire project board, said: “It is great to have passed the finish line on this first phase of the project, and to have delivered above target, reaching almost 65,000 homes and businesses.
“The programme has achieved its target ahead of our final contract date, which puts us in a good position when moving on to look at the infrastructure for the second phase of the rollout.
“Delivering superfast broadband to more parts of West Yorkshire and York is essential to equip our businesses and residents with the necessary technology of everyday life.”
Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for next generation access, added: “Getting this network in the ground is an achievement in itself, but the true measure of success will come when people in communities across the region place orders and reap the benefits of faster connectivity.
“Then we will really see how successful the West Yorkshire community can be when they fully exploit the benefits this technology can bring to home life, work life and the local economy.”
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