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Vaizey praises fibre broadband rollout for transforming Oxfordshire’s ‘digital landscape’

Friday, June 19th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

Digital minister Ed Vaizey has praised the “dramatic transformation” of Oxford’s “digital landscape”.

Mr Vaizey’s comments come as the rollout of superfast broadband in Oxfordshire reaches more than 50,000 homes and businesses.

The latest communities to get fibre broadband for the first time as part of the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme include Berinsfield, Great Milton, Hornton, Piddington, Sibford Gower, Shutford and Tadmarton.

Announcing the project’s progress, partners Oxfordshire County Council and BT said the high-speed technology has also been made more widely available in parts of Banbury, Faringdon, Temple Cowley and areas of Oxford city centre.

Mr Vaizey, whose own constituency of Wantage is in the county, said: "The digital landscape of Oxford is undergoing a dramatic transformation and I congratulate the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme on having reached more than 50,000 homes and businesses.

“Our nationwide rollout of superfast broadband is reaching 5,000 more premises every day and we're on track to reach 95% of the UK by 2017."

Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for business and customer services, Councillor Nick Carter, said the programme would cement Oxfordshire’s reputation.

'Digital revolution'

"This is an important milestone in the programme that the county council has been running for a couple of years," he said.

“It's nothing less than a digital revolution that will cement Oxfordshire's reputation as an unbeatable place to live and work, and we want people all across our county to be able to enjoy the benefits."

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said the milestone was important because “everything is better and faster with fibre broadband”.

Teams will continue to work hard to bring more communities within reach of fibre broadband, as quickly as they can, he added.

Better Broadband for Oxfordshire, which aims to bring fibre broadband to 95% of the county when combined with private sector investments, is part of the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

In February the partnership announced an additional £5.1m worth of funding which will extend the rollout to an additional 6,500 premises.

Other communities that have recently benefited from the partnership, which began just over 18 months ago, include Boars Hill, Edge Hill, Middleton Stoney, Nuneham, Swalcliffe and Woodstock.

But some communities have voiced concerns that they are being left out of efforts to take superfast broadband to rural areas.

Cable.co.uk previously reported that residents of Fernham in Oxfordshire had hit out at what they saw as a u-turn to bring fibre broadband to the village.

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