Connecting Cheshire's broadband boost for more communities
7 February 2017Many more communities in Cheshire are set to benefit from the roll-out of superfast broadband – thanks to strong demand for the high-speed fibre technology by households and businesses.
More than 40 per cent of customers in the Connecting Cheshire area have already chosen to take up the service, triggering a Gainshare award under the terms of the contract with BT to be used to further extend the fibre roll-out.
More than 6,000 premises have been added to the Connecting Cheshire phase three roll-out plans for 2017 and 2018. As a result of the high take up there is a Gainshare contribution of £3.34m, making a total of £4.3 million including a further BT Investment.
It is expected that around 5,400 of the 6,000 premises will receive superfast speeds of more than 24Mbps and the work is projected to be completed by summer 2018.
Maps are available giving an indication of the proposed coverage. It should be noted that detailed surveys and planning have yet to be completed, so this information, together with any timescales, may change. Proposed coverage includes Aston near Frodsham. For more information visit: www.connectingcheshire.org.uk/maps
A public drop-in briefing event on the roll-out will be held from 5pm to 7pm at Tarporley Village Hall on 6 March.
The project has delivered fibre broadband to more than 92,000 homes and businesses in Cheshire over the past three years, installing 600 green fibre cabinets and 1,000 miles of fibre cable in the ground – enough cable to stretch from Chester to Rome.
Councillor Brian Clarke, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Cabinet Member for economic development and infrastructure, said: “Under its initial contract with BT, the Connecting Cheshire programme receives a dividend if take-up reaches a certain point. As this has been achieved, the money will be used to extend the network to areas previously outside the planned coverage area – which is great news.
“Investing public money in fibre broadband helps sustain our rural communities and maintains Cheshire’s competitive edge as a business destination. It also allows homeowners to do things that need a faster internet connection, like accessing skills and learning, entertainment and other social connections.”
“BT is committed to rolling out this transformational technology as far as possible. Together with our commercial rollout, more than 96 per cent of homes and businesses across the county are now able to access fibre broadband.”
To check availability in your area visit: www.connectingcheshire.org.uk
All of the engineering work as part of Connecting Cheshire is being carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business. This means residents and businesses with access to fibre broadband can choose from a wide range of internet service providers and benefit from competitive pricing and products.
To find out if residents or businesses can upgrade to fibre broadband they need to speak to their internet service provider to order an upgrade as they will not automatically be upgraded.
Connecting Cheshire is a partnership of four local authorities, including Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Halton and Warrington borough councils. It is managed by Cheshire East Council’s arms-length Skills and Growth Company.
A BT Openreach engineer working on the Connecting Cheshire project