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Superfast West Yorkshire completes first phase of 'crucial' fibre rollout

Monday, May 16th 2016 by Ellen Branagh

The first phase of West Yorkshire’s government-led fibre broadband rollout has been completed, with more than 67,500 homes and businesses now able to access the technology.

And work on the next phase of the project, which will take fibre to 98% of the programme area in total, is already underway.

The £13m second phase will take fibre to 33,000 homes and businesses across West Yorkshire and York by the end of 2018.

In what is one of the largest civil engineering projects in West Yorkshire in recent years, the project has seen engineers lay hundreds of kilometres of fibre cable and install 441 new fibre street cabinets.

Roger Marsh, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: "Superfast broadband is no longer a nice to have – it's a must have for businesses looking to perform their day-to-day activity and accelerate growth into new and existing markets.

“That is why the rollout of the digital infrastructure is so crucial if we are to support our businesses grow further and faster.

"I am delighted this second phase of the project will mean that by 2018, we will have enabled 100,000 premises across West Yorkshire and York to have access to superfast broadband speeds, including some business parks and industrial centres that urgently need faster broadband speeds.”

The second phase of the rollout will upgrade towns and villages including Kirkburton, Honley, Flockton and Meltham in the coming months.

Average speeds have doubled

Nearly 850,000 households and businesses in West Yorkshire now have access to high-speed fibre broadband as a result of the £34.7m Superfast West Yorkshire programme as well as BT’s own commercial rollout.

Tom Keeney, BT’s regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “In just three years the average broadband speed has almost doubled in the five local authority areas of West Yorkshire, with all now having average speeds of above 24Mbps.

“There is still more to do and, as well as continuing the rollout, we are also looking at ways to make existing fibre services go faster and reach further.

“Superfast broadband will help improve access to jobs, allow local companies to compete in the global marketplace, create new opportunities for local people in the way they work, learn and enjoy their leisure time, and help young people make use of educational resources online.”

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