First phase of broadband roll-out completed, with more to come
In January 2016, the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme successfully completed the first phase of the superfast fibre broadband roll-out and announced further plans to ensure no community misses out.
- More than 97,000 homes and businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough that would not have been able to get it otherwise can upgrade to high speed fibre broadband – close to a third of the county’s premises.
- The rapid paced roll-out means that, an average of 4000 premises a month gained access to high-speed fibre technology over the two years to December 2015.
- More than 93% of premises can upgrade to superfast broadband and the programme is on track to reach at least 95% across the county by the end of 2017.
- Take up of fibre broadband services in Cambridgeshire is among the highest in the country – averaging 30% and rising – with over 50% of premises upgrading in some rural villages.
- 150 broadband champions have been helping their communities to get connected and make the most of digital technology.
- The programme has complemented the commercial rollout of fibre broadband in Cambridgeshire by BT and Virgin.
- Overall, BT estimates more than 300,000 households and businesses can now order fibre based broadband, and the average broadband speed has doubled from just three years ago, according to Ofcom.
However, there is more work to do, and the next two years will see the fibre broadband roll-out reaching some of the most challenging rural areas of the county, with other technologies such as wireless and satellite being used to close the gaps by 2020.
- The fibre network will be extended to 6,000 more properties in harder to reach areas in follow-on phases from spring 2016 to summer 2017 using additional UK Government funding and £579,245 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
- The high take-up has brought a BT gainshare funding of £5.3million, which will be used to deliver a third rollout phase to reach even more premises by 2020.
- The Government’s new Basic Broadband scheme is offering to help harder to reach properties with broadband speeds of less than 2Mbps to install satellite if they cannot be reached by the fibre network. Find out more here.
Faster Internet connections are having a huge impact on communities, allowing people to work flexibly, be entertained, keep in touch, and access public services wherever they are.
Read the latest broadband stories here.
Here is a video of the launch of one of the first fibre cabinets in Cambridgeshire filmed by Broadband Champions Mark Heath. (Double click the video to watch in fullscreen)