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Work starts on Telford's 'value for money' fibre broadband programme

Monday, October 26th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Engineering work on Telford and Wrekin’s £5.6m broadband rollout is underway.

The Superfast Telford programme, officially launched in July, will bring 9,300 homes and businesses access to fibre broadband.

Combined with commercial rollouts, it will take superfast coverage in the area to 98%.

Engineers from Openreach have started laying cables and installing new fibre street cabinets in parts of Dawley, programme bosses announced last week.

The first residents and businesses should be able to start upgrading to fibre this winter, with Oakengates and Great Bolas set to follow in the spring.

BT’s commercial activities in Dawley have already made superfast speeds available to more than 5,000 premises.

The Superfast Telford project – a partnership between Telford & Wrekin Council and BT – will lay more than 430km of fibre cabling over the next two years – enough to go round the Wrekin 86 times.

Telford & Wrekin Council said it will continue to look for solutions for the remaining 2% of homes and businesses not currently included in the rollout.

Councillor Shaun Davies, cabinet member for business, neighbourhood and customer services, said he is delighted that engineering work has started.

“We have ensured that we got the best value for money for our residents and the best deal for Telford,” he said.

'Healthy balance'

“This will support local businesses to more easily and efficiently connect with customers while coping with ever changing business needs as they develop and grow.

“It’s also becoming more and more important for our local residents to access faster speeds as being online becomes a regular part of modern family life.

“Superfast broadband not only makes uploading and downloading quicker but means that everyone in a family can do what they want all at the same time – enabling people to strike a healthy balance between work and play.

“It is also vital to have speedy access as more and more services from the council and other organisations develop online facilities for customers to use.”

Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for broadband partnerships, said: “Today marks another very important stage in the rollout of an exciting technology, which is transforming the lives of communities across the UK.

“Compared to other projects across the country, Superfast Telford’s implementation is small in terms of number of premises, but it delivers one of the highest levels of fibre coverage seen to date.”

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