Ninety-five per cent of Staffordshire households and businesses can now get superfast fibre broadband.
The major milestone was confirmed today by Staffordshire County Council and BT Group, which spearhead the Superfast Staffordshire partnership.
Superfast Staffordshire is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, which aims to make superfast broadband available to 95 per cent of the country by the end of the year.
The latest communities to benefit from the Superfast Staffordshire roll-out include: Alrewas, Baldwin’s Gate, Barnfields Industrial Estate in Leek, Calton, Chorlton, Elford, Four Ashes, Hanbury, Maer, Pattingham, Rangemore Hall, Salt, Stableford Caravan Park, Springhill, Swindon, Tatenhill, Waterhouses and Whitgreave.
Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said:
“Reaching this important milestone in the run-up to Christmas and ahead of the Government’s national target date is a terrific achievement and shows our commitment to make this important technology available to as many parts of Staffordshire as quickly as possible.
“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.”
The upgrade work is being carried out by engineers from Openreach, the business responsible for Britain’s largest digital phone and broadband network.
Steve Haines, Openreach’s managing director of next generation access, said:
“The broadband landscape across Staffordshire has been transformed in recent years so that the great majority of households and businesses can now get superfast speeds. And we are most certainly not stopping there. We’re committed to going further with superfast and ultrafast broadband.
“Increasingly high-speed broadband is no longer a ‘nice to have’ – it is a ‘must have’. Reaching this important milestone at this busy time of the year is particularly good news for people wanting to use the internet more than usual for online shopping and ‘click and collect’ services.
“At home, it enables families to connect to several different devices at the same time, so children can play online games without affecting parents or grandparents while they watch catch-up television or contact friends and relatives abroad.
“This exciting technology also breaks down barriers to doing business in the digital world, around Staffordshire and across the globe. 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 74,000 households and businesses to connect to superfast broadband speeds. The figure rises to more than 477,000 when combined with commercial fibre roll-outs by private sector businesses, such as Openreach.
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.