Worcestershire to benefit from 'Project Gigabit' launch

Digital connectivity Published Friday, 19th March 2021

Our response to today’s announcement by DCMS that named Worcestershire amongst the earliest areas to benefit from the launch of the new £5bn ‘Project Gigabit'

In response to today’s announcement by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport that named Worcestershire amongst the earliest areas to benefit from the launch of the new £5bn ‘Project Gigabit’, Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member for economy and infrastructure, Councillor Ken Pollock, said:

"Whilst we are aware of some operators plans to improve their broadband infrastructure in the county, we recognise the commercial deployments will only go so far. It’s therefore excellent news that a large part of Worcestershire has been identified by DCMS as being amongst the earliest areas to be progressing through ‘Project Gigabit’, that aims to bring Gigabit capable broadband to what are expected to be the hardest to reach areas of the county. In the last 12 months many more people have recognised just how important good, reliable digital connectivity is to individuals, communities and businesses alike.”

It is understood that more details around the Worcestershire plans will be released in June.

Councillor Pollock added: “It is equally pleasing to read of the other broadband improvement schemes being relaunched, in particular the announcement that there will be a new round of the Gigabit Broadband Voucher scheme. The previous voucher schemes were very well received by Worcestershire businesses and rural communities, with around £5m of DCMS vouchers secured in the county. We expect the latest scheme will be equally beneficial to our rural communities and we will continue to support communities that need to engage with it.”

Councillor Pollock concluded by saying: “Worcestershire County Council has been committed to improving broadband speeds in the county and released our Local Broadband Plan in May 2012 outlining our plans.

The first stage was to provide funding to support access to Superfast speeds, which we saw increase from 63% of the county when the plan was announced to 97% of Worcestershire today. In December 2020 the ‘Take-Up’ of fibre-based broadband connections provided by the project had exceeded 76%, the fifth highest in the country. As a result of this successful adoption a share of profits has been returned to the County Council and has already started to be reinvested to expand coverage further. Without the earlier investments by the County Council and Central Government, the last 12 months will undoubtedly have been harder for our residents and businesses to work, study and entertain ourselves whilst we have been in lock-down  The transition to a focus on Gigabit capable infrastructure had already begun in Worcestershire and this latest phase of investments will be a catalyst for enhanced Gigabit connectivity across more areas of the county.” 

The full press release on the launch of the new £5 billion project gigabit programme can be found by visiting the Project Gigabit press release on GOV.UK