Superfast Worcestershire, a programme to extend local coverage of superfast broadband has helped increase the number of residential and business premises accessing improved broadband speeds (in excess of 24mbps) to over 97.5% within the county.
The programme within Worcestershire, is UK Government aid supported working with Openreach (BT) and has increased the number of properties accessing superfast broadband from 69% in 2013.
Worcestershire County Council remains focused on ensuring nobody is left behind on less than 10Mbps download speeds and nationally and locally the focus has shifted to enabling deployment of Gigabit capable (1000Mbps) and Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) infrastructure.
The Council, Building Digital UK (BDUK) and infrastructure partners are ensuring that Worcestershire is one of the leading digital counties in the UK with current Gigabit*1 broadband and FTTP*2 coverage at c39.3% and c14.6% respectively and rising.
As well as supporting Community Partnership Schemes accessing UK Government’s Gigabit Vouchers to help with the financial costs of deploying to areas that are not commercially viable for infrastructure companies, Superfast Worcestershire is also supporting commercial works in the county via several infrastructure partners in places like Worcester, Bromsgrove, Droitwich and more.
UK Government has also acknowledged that there will be some areas in the UK which are very hard to reach and not commercially viable for infrastructure companies to deploy to. Through their Project Gigabit, BDUK is undergoing a review of the national data and determining those intervention areas that need further central funding to support the infrastructure deployment - Worcestershire has been named in Phase 1b, which is underway.
Councillor Marc Bayliss, Worcestershire County Council Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy and Skills, said: “As a result of our Superfast Worcestershire programme 97.5 per cent of county properties can now connect to superfast broadband service – a great achievement and it has made a real difference to our communities. It is fantastic that even more is being done to improve connectivity across Worcestershire via both commercial programmes, community voucher schemes and Government’s Project Gigabit. This is a once in a generation upgrade that will futureproof our network infrastructure at a time when connectivity has never been so important.’’
Superfast Worcestershire will continue to play an important role in supporting residents and businesses within these intervention areas but also throughout Worcestershire, as there are still premises in the county unable to access and enjoy at least “superfast” speeds. We are working hard to ensure those without an adequate service can be supported by future commercial deployments, the voucher scheme, or via the Government’s £5bn Project Gigabit deployment.
Note to editors:
*1 = Premises with access to Gigabit (1000Mbps) capable infrastructure
*2 = Premises with access to Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) infrastructure