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West Sussex fibre broadband rollout celebrates completion of first phase

Tuesday, July 5th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

The completion of a £20m broadband project has been celebrated in one of the latest communities included in its fibre rollout.

The first phase of the West Sussex Better Connected Broadband programme made superfast speeds available to more than 60,000 homes and businesses in the county.

A £2.5m second phase is already underway and will connect a further 3,000 premises by the end of 2017.

One of the most recent villages to benefit from the rollout is Amberley, where fibre broadband is now available to more than 230 homes and businesses – as well as Amberley C.E. First School.

Headteacher Jon Gilbert said: “We want to thank West Sussex County Council, BT and Openreach for the faster internet speeds we now have at the school.

“There is a lot of excitement among the pupils and staff about the new way that lessons can be learned and enjoyed using the speeds and capacity that the new fibre broadband has provided.”

David Barling, cabinet member for residents’ services at West Sussex County Council, said: “It is fantastic to see Amberley First School benefitting from the Better Connected project.

“These children can include a digital education in their learning and enhance their skills which will help them for the future.

“The aim of the Better Connected project has always been to bring better, faster broadband to West Sussex and it is fantastic to see the school and the local community benefitting.”

'Historic bridge'

Stacey King, BT’s regional partnership director for the south east, said: “The engineering to provide high-speed broadband to the village has at times been challenging and at one point included crossing the river Arun over an historic bridge.

“This investment in fibre broadband is another example of how faster internet speeds are transforming the online education and entertainment opportunities for communities as well as boosting the local economy as businesses use the technology to boost their competitiveness.”

Digital minister Ed Vaizey said: “Our rollout of superfast broadband has already taken superfast speeds to more than four million homes and businesses who would otherwise have missed out.

“The West Sussex Better Connected partnership has done a fantastic job and the widespread access to superfast broadband that this scheme is delivering will provide a tremendous boost to the West Sussex economy.”

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