Connecting Shropshire

September 17, 2015 / 4 comments / Permalink

Broadband boost for 40,000 Shropshire homes and businesses

Related topics: Programme delivery

More than 40,000 homes and businesses across the county are now able to connect to faster fibre broadband as a result of Connecting Shropshire, partners Shropshire Council and BT announced today.

The latest villages to benefit from the rollout of high-speed broadband include Ashford Carbonell, Chirbury and Wollerton. In addition, work continues in parts of Bishop’s Castle, Prees and Wem, where faster fibre broadband is also starting to become available for the first time.

Fibre broadband has arrived in Chirbury

Morris Corfield, a family-run supplier of agricultural equipment, with sites in Broseley and Craven Arms, is one of the many businesses already reaping the benefits of the Connecting Shropshire rollout – and as a result, changing the way it works for the better.

Oliver Morris, the company’s IT director, said:

“The main difference has been the faster broadband speeds. At Broseley we’re now pushing download speeds of 30 megabits per second, and our Craven Arms site is regularly seeing download speeds of up to 60Mbps, while our upload speeds there have risen dramatically from 0.5Mbps to 8Mbps.

Oliver Morris, IT Director, Morris Corfield

“As well as making our day-to-day processes far more efficient, the other significant improvement we’ve seen since upgrading to fibre is how much easier it is to keep our website updated, and we’re now able to back-up our data using Cloud-based services for the first time ever.

“Increasingly it’s become more and more important for businesses like ours to include photos alongside all the stock we sell online. Upgrading to fibre broadband has made this much easier to manage, and of course has had the knock-on effect of giving our online customers a much better overall experience.”

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for broadband, said:

“It’s a fantastic achievement for the Connecting Shropshire programme to have provided more than 40,000 homes and businesses with access to a fibre-based broadband connection that wouldn’t have benefitted without our intervention. High-speed Internet access is increasingly important for all members of society and Connecting Shropshire remains a key strategic programme for Shropshire Council.

“Shropshire has a high percentage of small enterprises and businesses run from home, and it is imperative that these should be able to compete in an increasingly global economy. As more communities get connected to fibre-based broadband, it’s great to see more companies like Morris Corfield are upgrading and taking advantage of being able to work faster and smarter to increase productivity.”

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for next generation access, said:

“Today marks another important milestone for Shropshire. As our ambitious rollout continues at a pace, we’re now enabling an increasing number of people in the more remote parts of the county to access faster fibre broadband, often for the first time.

“Every day we’re seeing how high-speed broadband is transforming the way local families, residents, homeworkers and other businesses work, learn, communicate and enjoy their leisure time.”

Steve Charmley added:

“At the same time as this positive news, we fully appreciate there is more work to do. We have previously published our strategy in an ‘open letter’, and remain confident of our ambitions for providing all of our communities with faster broadband.”

People wanting to find out if fibre broadband is available 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/.

4 comments

  1. Bit disappointed with Prees activation. BT missed the first date and it looks like the 2nd date is December 2015 for cabinet 1 I hope they hit this date but given previous history not convinced personally

    • Connecting Shropshire

      Prees cabinet 1 has not yet been installed as we need to agree a wayleave with the landowner in the preferred location. Many such agreements have already been successfully negotiated as part of the Connecting Shropshire programme, so we don’t expect too much delay.

  2. Nice to see larger villages and small towns connected. When are you planning to think about the rural uplands?

    • Connecting Shropshire

      Connecting Shropshire anticipates making some programme savings during our current Phase 1 deployment which will allow us to connect additional premises to superfast broadband. As soon as we know where additional premises will be connected we will make an appropriate announcement. We will continue to connect premises on a value for money basis. This remains part of the strategy set out in the Local Broadband Plan (http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/20150612-Local-Broadband-Plan-2015.pdf).
      Also, we have a balance of money that was not spent in our recent Phase 2 procurement and we are currently reviewing options but intend to undertake a further procurement as soon as possible. The intention will be to provide superfast broadband to as many more premises as possible in areas without access to fibre broadband.