New £5.6m deal will deliver superfast fibre broadband boost for thousands more Shropshire Homes and Businesses
Around 4,000 more homes and businesses across Shropshire will be able to receive high-speed fibre broadband following an additional £5.6 million of funding announced today.
The latest funding will extend the Connecting Shropshire roll-out which began connecting the first homes and businesses to faster fibre broadband around 18 months ago.
The new deal injects further funding into the Connecting Shropshire partnership between Shropshire Council, Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and BT, with £4.7 million coming from BDUK and £900,000 from BT. Additional funding already available from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and BDUK will be used to undertake a further procurement exercise by the end of 2015.
Parts of Montford Bridge, Prees and Munslow exchange areas not already enabled for faster fibre broadband will be among the places to benefit from this new funding. More details of the other areas to benefit will be announced before the end of the month. The upgrade work will take place during 2017 and 2018.
So far, more than 34,000 premises are able to upgrade to faster fibre broadband out of the 62,000 planned in the first phase of the Connecting Shropshire roll-out, which is expected to finish at the end of 2016.
People wanting to find out if fibre broadband is in their area should enter their phone number or postcode in the checker on the Connecting Shropshire website: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/when-and-where/. Residents and businesses wanting to upgrade should contact their chosen broadband service provider, the broadband speeds don’t increase automatically.
Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council Cabinet member with responsibility for broadband, said: “This extension to the Connecting Shropshire programme will provide access to faster fibre broadband to more communities. Even with the extension covering more premises, we know that there is still work to be done which was expected due to the geographical and network challenges we have in Shropshire. We intend to use additional funding already available and the balance of BDUK funds to seek further procurement opportunities to enable more homes and businesses to get superfast broadband.”
Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said: “Today marks another important milestone in the development of Shropshire. Every day the internet is impacting on lives in new and exciting ways, which is why we are working hard to connect as many communities as possible. Rolling out fibre broadband in a rural county like Shropshire has its engineering challenges, but our teams have the expertise to ensure the roll-out continues smoothly and quickly.”