TAMWORTH now has near total superfast broadband coverage thanks to a county council scheme that’s making faster download speeds available to most of Staffordshire.
The Superfast Staffordshire programme, run jointly with BT Group and the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, has helped to bring download speeds of at least 24 Mbps to virtually all homes and businesses across the borough. And people are now being urged to make the most of the scheme and get connected.
So far, Superfast Staffordshire has enabled around 76,000 households and businesses to connect to superfast broadband speeds. The figure rises to more than 481,000, which is around 96 per cent of premises, when combined with commercial fibre roll-outs by private sector businesses, such as Openreach.
The roll-out is being carried out by engineers from Openreach, the UK’s largest phone and broadband network. Openreach’s network is open, meaning that people are still able to choose their own provider, from a wide range of companies offering phone and broadband services.
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.
Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader, said: “Access to superfast broadband is essential to every resident and business in Staffordshire and across the UK.
“Connectivity enables people to live independently and grow more prosperous whilst boosting economic growth and productivity.
“Our Superfast Staffordshire partnership 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 autumn last year, ahead of the national programme. It’s fantastic that Tamworth now has near total superfast coverage with the rest of the county pretty close. We’re really urging people now to contact a broadband provider and get connected.
“We are determined now 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 Henderson, Openreach’s regional director for next generation access, said: “We are making great progress across Staffordshire and our partnership with the council continues to be very productive. Deploying fibre broadband to some of the smallest, most remote premises can be very challenging and often involves a mixture of complex technologies and processes. Together with our partners we’re doing all we can to connect these communities to the new fibre network as quickly as possible.
“Superfast broadband brings huge benefits for business, and enables companies across Staffordshire to compete on a level playing field. They’re able to use the new technology to find new markets, sell new products and communicate more easily and quickly with their customers, suppliers and employees.
“And remember, upgrades do not happen automatically. People will need to place an order with their chosen fibre broadband provider to start having access to fibre broadband at their home or place of work.”
According to the independent thinkbroadband.com, more than 95 per cent of homes and businesses across England can access superfast broadband with download speeds of 24 mbps or more.