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Worcestershire to complete fibre broadband rollout ahead of schedule

Monday, October 5th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

The second phase of the superfast rollout in Worcestershire will be delivered nine months earlier than planned, organisers have announced.

More than 40,000 premises can access fibre broadband as part of the Superfast Worcestershire programme, set to rise to around 60,000 by June 2016 when the first phase of the rollout comes to an end.

And the second phase, known as the ‘Superfast Extension Programme’, will be completed nine months ahead of schedule, Worcestershire County Council and BT have announced.

This second phase will see a further 8,000 homes and businesses get access to fibre during the summer of 2016 and early autumn 2017, they said.

Harriet Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire, welcomed the news during a visit to Kempsey near Worcester.

She said: “It is good to see Superfast Worcestershire extending the reach of fibre connections to more and more communities.

“I expect that Kempsey residents and businesses will welcome the arrival of superfast connectivity and I encourage as many people as possible to take advantage of this service.

This will allow the county to re-invest in connecting more and more cabinets.”

She said she will continue to campaign until every home and business gets access to the superfast broadband in the next five years, in line with the government’s ambition.

Cllr Simon Geraghty, Worcestershire County Council cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, said: "This is great news.

'Most challenging areas'

"Being able to deliver this programme a full nine months ahead of schedule means more homes and businesses will be able to access improved broadband speeds more quickly.

“We will also have early opportunity to release funds and reinvestment to extend coverage even further.

“It's great to see the difference faster broadband speeds can make to a local community like Kempsey.”

Engineers have installed six fibre roadside cabinets in Kempsey, enabling around 1,500 villagers to connect to the fibre broadband, with further upgrade work due in the coming months.

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said: “Fibre broadband is providing a major boost for households and businesses across Worcestershire and the UK as a whole.

“Thanks to a combination of factors – the excellent progress of the Superfast Worcestershire rollout to date, as well as the great partnership working between the council and BT programme teams – we’ll be able to start and finish connecting the 8,000 premises in the second phase of the programme much earlier than planned.

“But we recognise there is still much more to do. BT is committed to rolling out faster broadband as widely and quickly as possible.

“Working with the government, local authorities and communities, we are determined to find solutions for even the most challenging areas.”

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