Superfast Staffordshire celebrates four year anniversary by extending reach to more rural communities
The number of Staffordshire households and businesses using superfast broadband has doubled in the past two years thanks to the Superfast Staffordshire roll-out, with many of the county’s smallest rural communities getting access to the technology for the first time.
It’s four years since Kings Bromley and Yoxall became the first villages in the county to ‘go live’ as part of Superfast Staffordshire, led by Staffordshire County Council and Openreach, as part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.
Since then, Superfast Staffordshire has enabled around 75,000 households and businesses and more than 300 communities can now connect to superfast broadband speeds. The figure rises to more than 481,000 when combined with fibre roll-out under commercial programmes.
The percentage of households and businesses taking up superfast fibre broadband has doubled in the past two years, with 95.7 per cent of premises able to access the technology.
Superfast Staffordshire is using a mixture of fibre-to-the-cabinet and fibre-to-the-premises technology to deliver superfast broadband.
The latest communities to benefit include: Adderley, Caverswall Common, Kingsley Moor and The Boundary near Cheadle in the Staffordshire Moorlands; Bishop’s Offley and Wootton near Eccleshall; Dunkirk near Newcastle; Coton-in-the-Clay, Hanbury Woodend, Leese Hill and Lower Loxley, Marchington Cliff and Forest Road, Wootton near Ellasatone in East Staffordshire; Ivestey Bank, Lower Penn and Patshull Park in South Staffordshire; Morston Court in Cannock Chase and Blithbury.
Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader, said:
“In just four years we have seen a huge transformation in Staffordshire by ensuring that tens of thousands of properties have the ability to connect to superfast broadband – making a big difference to people’s day to day living. The Superfast Staffordshire programme is a top priority to the county council as it supports independent living, opens up opportunities and boosts economic growth and prosperity.
“Together with commercial roll-out it has enabled 95 per cent of the county to have connectivity and our programme alone means an additional 75,000 Staffordshire properties now have access to superfast broadband. We believe this access is essential to every resident and business in Staffordshire and across the UK and now we’re urging people to get connected.
“We are of course determined now to continue our drive to find solutions for the final five per cent of properties. 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.”
Kim Mears, Openreach’s managing director of strategic infrastructure development, said:
“It’s amazing to think that 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 devices over wireless broadband. High-speed broadband also breaks down barriers to doing business 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.”
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. People will need to place an order with their chosen fibre broadband provider.
People can follow the progress of the roll-out via the Superfast Staffordshire website: www.superfaststaffordshire.co.uk via Twitter @superfaststaffs and Facebook following Superfast Staffordshire.