Spotlight on superfast broadband transforming Cambridgeshire communities

February 9, 2015

Communities in rural Cambridgeshire that have been transformed by getting superfast broadband are in the spotlight for the national Government campaign.

The Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) today announced that the superfast broadband programme has reached over 2 million premises nationally, including over 55,000 homes and businesses in the county through the Connecting Cambridgeshire roll-out.

The difference that high speed fibre broadband is making for people living in rural communities has been demonstrated in a series of short videos filmed in Spaldwick and Ellington villages, which have seen record take-up since going live.

The five one-minute films show how high speed Internet access means people can work, shop, study and socialise wherever they are.

They feature a working family with teenaged children, a retired couple, a busy village deli and an international events business and can be viewed here.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “It’s fantastic to hear that Connecting Cambridgeshire has made such tremendous progress in rolling out superfast broadband across the county. Our investment has resulted in more than 55,000 Cambridgeshire homes and businesses now having a faster and more reliable internet service, and the project’s on track to reach more than 90,000 properties by the end of the year.”

The Connecting Cambridgeshire superfast broadband programme, led by Cambridgeshire County Council is on track to reach 90,000 homes and businesses,that would not get it otherwise, by the end of 2015.

Councillor Ian Bates, Chairman of the County’s Economy and Environment Committee, which leads the programme, said: “Superfast broadband is transforming people’s lives in Cambridgeshire communities and these videos show the impact it has had for families and businesses that have already upgraded.

“The Connecting Cambridgeshire roll-out is gathering pace and we are drawing up plans to extend the programme using extra Government funding to reach even more premises with better broadband.”

Connecting Cambridgeshire is working with BT and the Government body Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) to roll out the new broadband network in the most cost effective way to ensure maximum coverage for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

BT recently unveiled plans to trial ‘G-fast’ ultrafast broadband in Huntingdon this summer, building upon Cambridgeshire’s drive for innovation and connectivity to support the local economy.

Bill Murphy, BT’s Managing Director Next Generation Access, said, “Today marks a giant step forward in the rollout of fibre broadband in Cambridgeshire and across the UK. In Cambridgeshire more than 250,000 homes and businesses now have access to high-speed fibre broadband thanks to Connecting Cambridgeshire and BT’s own commercial fibre broadband programme.

“Working in partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council we have been able to reach into the heart of scores of communities across the region that have so far been beyond the reach of this vital technology. Already we can see the impact that fibre is having nationally with the Government’s estimate of more than 56,000 jobs created as a result of this rollout by 2024 and rural economies benefiting by around £9 million every day due to the work being done now.

“We are proud to be delivering on our promises and BT’s high-speed fibre network now reaches almost 22 million premises nationwide – around three quarters of the UK – but we recognise there’s more to do.

Residents can find out when they can get faster broadband and how to upgrade to fibre on the Connecting Cambridgeshire website at http://www.connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk