Timetable of fibre broadband roll-out for next 14 months announced
Programme moves up a gear during 2014 as work begins in 25 more areas
Work has begun in the next 25 exchange areas to benefit from the £24.6 million Connecting Shropshire programme. On Friday 7th February, partners Shropshire Council and BT today announced more details about the areas where people will be able to start accessing faster fibre broadband over the next 14 months.
The exchange areas are:
- Bayston Hill
- Bomere Heath
- Church Stretton
- Cleehillstone (Clee Hill)
- Cleobury Mortimer
- Craven Arms
- Cross Houses
- Much Wenlock
- Queens Head
- Tenbury Wells
The high-speed technology is expected to start going ‘live’ in Bayston Hill, Bomere Heath, Bucknell, Church Stretton, Craven Arms, Cross Houses, Dorrington, Hadnall, Hanwood, Much Wenlock and Shawbury from this Summer. The other exchange areas will start to go live later in the year and will be shown as ‘future exchanges’ on the Openreach where-and-when pages, see: http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/
After several months of planning and surveying work, engineers will begin putting in the fibre optic cable and new roadside cabinets that are needed for people to get access to the new fibre broadband network.
At the same time fibre broadband will be extended in the parts of Bridgnorth, Ludlow, Market Drayton and Oswestry not already covered by any commercial rollout.
Work to connect the remaining exchange areas in this particular phase will begin in the second half of this year, with the majority completed by the end of Spring 2015. By this time more than 30,000 premises are expected to have been provided with access to fibre broadband, marking the half-way point in the Connecting Shropshire programme.
Connecting Shropshire will continue to keep people informed of the progress of the programme in these and other areas via the website www.connectingshropshire.co.uk, Shropshire councillors, parish councils and regular updates in the media.
Connecting Shropshire is a partnership between Shropshire Council, BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) that will enable more than 62,000 rural or very rural homes and businesses in Shropshire (excluding Telford and Wrekin) to access faster broadband.
The combined investment from Connecting Shropshire and the private sector’s commercial roll-out plans will mean 93 per cent of homes and businesses in the Shropshire Council area will have access to faster fibre broadband by the end of Spring 2016.
Shropshire homes and businesses will be able to order fibre broadband from a wide range of internet service providers as the network is available to all providers on an open, wholesale basis, thereby ensuring competitive prices. To check whether you can access fibre broadband services contact your internet service provider.
Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council Cabinet member responsible for broadband, said: “Following on from recent announcements about communities getting fibre broadband ahead of schedule, and further phase one communities due to get fibre broadband by the spring, we are building confidence in the programme as a whole to bring faster broadband to the current and future generations”.
Mike Cook, BT’s regional director for the West Midlands, said: “It’s a huge engineering project that we’re undertaking here in Shropshire, but we’re committed to connecting communities as quickly as possible whilst of course planning carefully to ensure the project delivers the best value for money from the investment.”
“The internet is playing an increasingly important part in all our lives which is why the strong progress being made by Connecting Shropshire is so important.”
Rizvan Khalid, Executive Director of Euro Quality Lambs Ltd based in Craven Arms, said: “Faster fibre broadband gives businesses like ours the ability to use the latest internet-based software to increase both productivity and communications within our business and externally with key suppliers. It can’t come soon enough!”
“Once we have faster broadband we are planning on experimenting with VOIP telephony systems which will help our roaming team stay in touch better, simpler and most importantly, cheaper. Much of our data is backed up online so a faster service means we’re not waiting so much and we can be more productive at our desktops.”
Some of these exchange areas cover premises in neighbouring local authorities. Homes and businesses in each local authority area are the responsibility of the respective broadband programmes in Wales, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Telford, Worcestershire, and Herefordshire (Fastershire). Links to these programmes can be found on the following page of the Connecting Shropshire website in the ‘Bordering Counties broadband information’ section: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/related-external-links/
Chirk exchange is located in Wales, but Connecting Shropshire has the responsibility for providing access to faster fibre broadband for homes and businesses in the Shropshire Council area.