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Historic milestone for Leicestershire broadband programme

Press Release   •   Nov 06, 2018 15:17 GMT

Openreach engineer Nick Woodward with pupils from Elizabeth Woodville Primary school in Groby

Leicestershire County Council’s broadband programme, Superfast Leicestershire has connected it’s 600th cabinet to fibre broadband, enabling more people across the county to access to the new high-speed technology.

The latest green roadside cabinet, located on The Park in Market Bosworth, was unveiled by Justin Leese, a Programme Director from Broadband Delivery UK, from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, alongside representatives from Leicestershire County Council, Openreach, District Councillor Maureen Cook and parish council members.

Superfast Leicestershire, funded by Leicestershire County Council, UK Government and Openreach, is playing a leading role in making faster broadband available in rural areas - already reaching more than 70,000 homes and businesses across the county since the first broadband cabinet went live in 2014.

Council leader, Nick Rushton said: “We are so pleased to have reached this point in the programme. Connecting thriving market towns and rural areas with local businesses to the wider world is essential for economic growth and development.

“Residents and businesses need reliable, fit-for-the-future communications and this programme is delivering exactly that. The team have been working fantastically with communities, schools and businesses to encourage people to learn about the technology and the benefits it can bring to modern living. I’m proud of all those involved to help make connecting our county a possibility.”

(photo front-back: Tom Purnell Leicestershire County Council, Justin Leese BDUK, Carl Sproston Openreach)

Minister for Digital, Margot James said: "I'm delighted that our rollout of superfast broadband is on track to reach 96% of homes and businesses in Leicestershire by the end of the year. I congratulate Superfast Leicestershire on reaching this milestone which has already made superfast broadband speeds a reality for more than 70,000 premises in the county."

During Justin’s visit to the county to celebrate the latest milestone for Superfast Leicestershire, he visited Elizabeth Woodville Primary School in Groby to experience first-hand how the project team work with communities and schools.

Justin attended a workshop put together by the project team which teaches children about the fibre broadband technology and how to stay safe online. The main session included the Superfast Leicestershire interactive cube which was launched last month (September) by the council. The cube aims to help children learn how broadband gets into their homes. Through building their own fibre broadband network and connecting all the towns and villages, children can learn about the engineering behind the delivery and installation of fibre broadband.

As well as the cube, the Year 5 (KS2) group also heard from Openreach engineer, Nick Woodward, about how Openreach’s network makes high-speed fibre broadband available, and a representative from Leicestershire Police who talked about how to use the internet safely and smartly.

Carl Sproston, Openreach’s Partnership Director, said: “A lot of really good work has taken place in Leicestershire and our partnership has delivered superfast broadband to some of the most rural communities. It was great to share some of that success with BDUK as we switched on our 600th cabinet. We know there is more to do and we’re already working with the county council across two phases of the programme to extend that reach even further.”

The most recent areas to benefit from broadband through Superfast Leicestershire are: Seagrave, Staunton Harold and Wymeswold.

Anyone who has any queries about their broadband upgrade or would like to host their own event with the interactive cube should visit www.superfastleicestershire.org.uk or contact the team on broadband@leics.gov.uk. Search #SuperfastLeics on Twitter for the latest updates

About Openreach

Openreach is Britain’s digital network business.

We’re 30,400 people who connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses - large and small - to the world.

Our mission is to build the best possible network, with the highest quality service, making sure that everyone in Britain can be connected.

We work on behalf of more than 600 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and BT, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 27 million premises. We’re also the platform for Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest in the G20.

We’re working hard to give people the speeds they need to run and enjoy their daily lives. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £11 billion into our network and we now manage more than 160 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, from Wales to the east coast. And we’re continuing to take that network further - making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.

Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group, and it is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of our revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom and any company can access our products under the same prices, terms and conditions.

For the year ended 31 March 2018, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.

For more information, visit openreach.co.uk