The Superfast Staffordshire partnership – spearheaded by Staffordshire County Council and BT Group – today announced a major expansion which has seen it bring superfast fibre broadband to even more of the county’s smallest, most remote communities.
The latest communities to benefit from the Superfast Staffordshire roll-out include: Blithbury, Brereton Cross, Brocton, Clifford’s Wood, Copmere End, Morston Court and Wetwood, where the technology has become available for the first time, as well as additional areas of Alrewas, Derrington and Essington.
Superfast Staffordshire is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, which today confirmed its own success story by achieving a nationwide target of making superfast broadband available to 95 per cent of premises.
In Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, the 95 per cent target was reached in November 2017*.
The Superfast Staffordshire roll-out is being carried out by engineers from Openreach, the business responsible for Britain’s largest digital phone and broadband network, who have just installed the project’s 600th fibre broadband cabinet. The road-side cabinets are needed to enable local people to connect to the fibre network.
Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader, said: “Access to superfast broadband is essential to every resident and business in the UK. “Connectivity enables people to live independently and grow more prosperous whilst boosting economic growth and productivity. Superfast Staffordshire has played a vital part in the delivery of fibre broadband in the county and we were pleased to hit the 95 per cent coverage mark in November.
“We are determined to continue our drive to enable remaining properties to get connected. We’re using a combination of technologies and co-funding solutions to ensure even residents and businesses in the smallest, most remote parts of our county have access to this essential technology.”
Steve Haines, Openreach’s managing director of next generation access, said: “Deploying fibre broadband to even more of Staffordshire’s smallest, most remote premises can be very challenging and often involve a mixture of complex technologies and processes. But we are working successfully in partnership with local communities to get access to agricultural land and roads in order to ensure our project teams get this new network installed.
“It’s amazing to think just two years ago Britons used less than half the data they do now on their home broadband and this pace shows no signs of slowing. Consumers are doing more and more online and at the same time, from streaming high definition movies and TV, gaming, online shopping to using mobile devises over wireless broadband.
“Superfast broadband also breaks down barriers to doing business around Staffordshire and across the globe as it helps small businesses to find new markets, sell new products and communicate more easily and quickly with their customers, suppliers and employees.”
So far, Superfast Staffordshire has enabled around 75,000 households and businesses to connect to superfast broadband speeds. The figure rises to more than 478,000 when combined with commercial fibre roll-outs by private sector businesses, such as Openreach.
People can follow the progress of the roll-out via the Superfast Staffordshire website: www.superfaststaffordshire.co.uk and via Twitter @superfaststaffs
Because the fibre broadband network is being installed by Openreach, households and businesses have a wide choice of fibre broadband providers. Upgrades do not happen automatically. Anyone wanting to benefit needs to place an order with their chosen fibre broadband provider.