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West Oxfordshire to get full superfast broadband coverage by end of 2017

Tuesday, December 15th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

West Oxfordshire will become one of the first wholly superfast broadband-connected areas in the UK as part of a new fibre rollout.

Rural communities in West Oxfordshire are to benefit from the Cotswolds Broadband-managed rollout, which will cover the most hard-to-reach areas enabling all homes and businesses to benefit from speeds of at least 24Mbps.

The project will make the district one of the first in the country to have full superfast coverage across all rural areas.

The announcement follows the formal sign-off of a £1.6m government grant. West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) is investing a further £1.6m in the form of a loan, while internet provider Gigaclear is putting up £3.2m.

Hugo Pickering, CEO of Cotswolds Broadband, said: “Our project will ensure an estimated 6,000 properties, where superfast broadband is not currently available, will have the capability to connect to the internet at superfast speeds.

“It will also make West Oxfordshire one of the first wholly superfast broadband-connected districts in the UK.”

WODC said the project will complement the Oxfordshire Better Broadband Programme, which is run by Oxfordshire County Council and BT and has already helped deliver superfast to 90% of West Oxfordshire premises.

Construction is expected to start in 2016, with all homes and businesses in the district served before the end of 2017.

Councillor Richard Langridge, cabinet member responsible for WODC’s broadband project, said: “We have long held the belief that homes and businesses shouldn’t have to sacrifice being at the forefront of the digital and technological age simply for living in a beautiful rural area.

'No one is left in the slow lane'

“West Oxfordshire has an incredibly strong business community that deserves to be able to perform alongside the best in the world.

“This project will ensure no one is left in the slow lane and futureproof business’ digital capabilities.

“Because of this I am delighted that the pledge made by the district council to achieve full coverage is now coming into fruition.”

Digital minister Ed Vaizey said the government’s rollout of superfast broadband had reached 3.5m homes and businesses not covered by commercial rollouts.

“The transformation of Oxfordshire’s digital landscape is well underway and I’m delighted that another 6,000 local properties will now be able to get superfast speeds as a result of this programme.”

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