Two BDUK projects reveal the locations of the first government-funded fibre cabinets
Two government-funded fibre projects in the Midlands have announced details of the first communities in the region to benefit from superfast broadband as BDUK roll-out increases its pace.
Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Broadband (CSW) and Superfast Northamptonshire have revealed the locations of the first cabinets to go live, bringing speeds of 80Mbps to areas excluded from the commercial fibre roll-out.
In Warwickshire, Alderminster, Fillongley, Henley-in-Arden, Kineton, Quinton, Long Marston, Snitterfield and Welford-on-Avon will receive fibre for the first time in spring 2014, and coverage will be extended to areas of Stratford-upon-Avon and Wellesbourne not covered by the commercial roll-out.
Eventually, 40,000 properties will be added to the network, although CSW is actively seeking more funding to increase this number, with postcodes covered by the scheme set to be released in the near future.
“This is only the start of the rollout of a project that will take place over the next two years,” says Councillor Alan Cockburn, deputy leader of Warwickshire County Council. “The provision of faster broadband will make a real difference to the quality of people’s lives and to the competitiveness of our businesses.”
In Northamptonshire, homes and businesses in Towcester, Weedon and Paulerspury are now connected, while more cabinets will be switched on in the coming weeks in Silverstone, Long Buckby, Braunston and Blisworth. A total of 8,157 premises will be connected during the initial phase of the roll-out by March 2014, with another 50,000 premises added by 2015.
“Having widely available superfast broadband is essential if we are to compete in the digital global economy and I’m delighted that we’ve reached such a significant stage of this initiative,” says Councillor Andre Gonzalez De Savage, Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure, economic growth and public protection. “BT has delivered more coverage two months earlier than expected at this stage of the project, which is a real achievement.”
Other BDUK projects are also advancing, with Connecting Devon and Somerset announcing last week that 70,000 homes and businesses in the two counties will be able to receive superfast broadband by the end of July. The government claims that 300,000 premises now have access to fibre as a result of BDUK, and expects 40,000 properties to be added to the network every week by the summer.