The pace of life in one of the UK’s best-loved villages is set to speed up thanks to the Superfast Worcestershire broadband partnership.
Inkberrow in Worcestershire – thought to be the setting for Ambridge, home of The Archers radio drama – is one of the latest areas to get superfast fibre broadband through the partnership being led by Worcestershire County Council and BT Group as part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.
Around 1,300 households and businesses in Inkberrow are now able to get the technology, including the area around The Old Bull, the pub which is said to be the inspiration for the Archers’ fictional The Bull pub.
Michael McCarthy, pub owner, said: "Everything is online these days so it's really important to me and to the business that people can look online whilst they are here. With improved broadband speeds we can offer free Wi-Fi to our customers. In today's digital world this is a service you can't do without, and this is fantastic news for our village pub."
Engineers from Openreach – the business responsible for Britain’s largest phone and broadband network – have installed nine fibre broadband cabinets to connect local premises to the new network.
Steve Haines, Openreach’s managing director of next generation access, said:
“Every day we’re seeing how superfast fibre broadband is changing people’s lives for the better, so we hope it proves a hit here too. It’s particularly good news coming in the run-up to Christmas when the demand for internet-based services like online shopping and ‘click and collect’ is higher than usual, and people are socialising more.
“Because the pub is situated so close to one of the new fibre broadband cabinets, it has the potential to be one of the best connected pubs in the country. And villagers will be able to catch up on missed episodes of The Archers on iPlayer without any buffering.”
Around 250,000 households and businesses across Worcestershire can now access superfast fibre broadband as a result of Superfast Worcestershire and private sector investment by companies like Openreach.
Councillor Ken Pollock, Cabinet Member responsible for Economy and Infrastructure, said: "Having access to high speed broadband is vital for Worcestershire's businesses, visitors and residents. The Superfast Worcestershire partnership recognises how crucial it is to ensure our rural communities are connected. The partnership has provided a number of fibre cabinets in Inkberrow, and work to connect more properties in the village is ongoing. People should take note that when the new technology is available, the switch to superfast speeds isn't automatic – customers must upgrade via an internet provider."
The wide-ranging benefits of fibre broadband include:
- High quality, speedy online access when connecting several devices to the internet at the same time;
- Playing high-definition online games, streaming music and watching catch-up television without any buffering;
- Using the internet for homework, shopping and other services more quickly and easily;
- Being able to quickly upload, share and download large data files and photos via email and over the internet.
Upgrades do not happen automatically. People wanting to benefit from fibre broadband need to order it from their chosen communications provider. Local households and businesses can choose from a wide range of companies offering competitive fibre broadband products and services.
The Superfast Worcestershire roll-out will continue in the Inkberrow area, with three more structures planned, enabling nearly 200 more local premises to get the technology.
Anyone wanting more information about the Superfast Worcestershire roll-out can log onto: www.superfastworcestershire.com.