An engineering firm in Kirklees, specialising in keeping the highways, traffic and transportation on the move, is experiencing life in the fast lane for itself since being upgraded to superfast broadband.
Sanderson Associates is one of more than 1,500 homes and businesses now able to access superfast speeds of up to 80 Mbps since the Flockton telephone exchange ‘went live’ with fibre broadband.
Carl France, finance manager, said: “We had been struggling with speeds of less than 10Mbps at our Grange Moor base and it was becoming increasingly difficult to work effectively and efficiently.
“As soon as we were able we signed up for superfast broadband and the difference is incredible. Our broadband speed is now around 70 Mbps, which enables all of the staff to be much more productive.”
Flockton was upgraded as part of the multi-million pound second phase of the Superfast West Yorkshire & York roll-out. Engineers from Openreach, the business responsible for Britain’s largest phone and broadband network, have brought fibre broadband speeds within reach of 30,000 homes and businesses across West Yorkshire on behalf of the programme.
Five new fibre broadband street cabinets connected to the Flockton exchange mean that more than 1,500 further homes and businesses in Huddersfield, Wakefield and Dewsbury can now access broadband speeds of up to 80Mbps via their chosen broadband service provider. And further expansion is set to follow later in the programme.
Cllr Peter McBride, Kirklees Council, said: “This is a perfect example of the benefits of superfast broadband and how vital having the right digital infrastructure is to supporting innovation and economic growth in Kirklees. In Phase 2 of the Superfast West Yorkshire and York programme over 150 structures have been built in Kirklees so far, bringing superfast broadband speeds to over 19,500 homes and businesses.”
Cllr Mather, Kirklees Council, added: “With so many people now benefitting from a faster, more reliable internet connection, it has opened up a whole new world of opportunities and reinforced Kirklees as a great place to live and do business. There is a clear demand for faster broadband connectivity, with many homes and businesses signing-up to use the new technology installed as part of the Superfast West Yorkshire and York programme.”
Carl France added: “Superfast speeds mean that our engineers can now connect to our internal systems from their laptops when working on site – this was nearly impossible before. We can now also transfer large AutoCAD files to clients in a fraction of the time it used to take and it is much easier for staff to work flexibly. We are also now looking at moving our onsite backup facility to the Cloud and are exploring options. The boost in speed is saving us time and improving productivity across our business which will in time, I’m sure, also help us generate cost savings.”
This second phase of the Superfast West Yorkshire & York roll-out will extendfibre coverage to 98 per cent of the programme area. The additional £13 million investment will bring fibre broadband speeds within reach of a further 33,000 homes and businesses across West Yorkshire and York by the end of 2018.
Derek Richardson, Openreach programme director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Increasingly, we are reaching some of the most difficult and rural parts of West Yorkshire and York. Rural geographies present many challenges not faced in more urban areas. Long stretches of narrow, winding roads can create the need for temporary traffic lights and other traffic restrictions with engineers often having to build long stretches of new underground cabling ducts. There can also be complications connecting power to the new fibre cabinets situated in particularly remote locations.”
Around 850,000 households and businesses in West Yorkshire now have access to high-speed fibre broadband as a result of Superfast West Yorkshire & York and Openreach’s own commercial fibre broadband programme. It’s an ‘opt in’ service, but because the Openreach network is ‘open’, residents and businesses wanting to upgrade have a wide choice of fibre broadband providers.
Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Calderdale Council, Kirklees Council, Leeds City Council, Wakefield Council, and York City Council, are working with BT to extend high-speed fibre broadband to 98 per cent of households and businesses across the majority of West Yorkshire and York by the end of 2018.
In total, £34.74 million has been invested in the Superfast West Yorkshire & York programme. This is made up of Government funding from Broadband Delivery UK and funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), BT and the five West Yorkshire local authorities.
Cllr Peter Box, chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority‘s Investment Committee, said: “Providing Sanderson Associates and other companies across Flockton with access to superfast broadband is key to meeting the Combined Authority’s aim of creating economic growth and jobs across West Yorkshire and the city region.
“Superfast broadband also provides people with better access to a wide range of digital services, including video streaming, social media and shopping.”
For more information about the project or to find out when superfast broadband will be delivered in your area visit www.get-fibre.co.uk