A partnership between local residents and Openreach is to make high-speed fibre broadband available to a local school and around 40 homes and businesses in Norney and Shakleford, in Guildford, Surrey.
The co-funded deal has seen investment by local residents, Openreach, Britain’s digital network business and the UK Government’s Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme, which was established to provide access to a subsidised broadband installation to homes and businesses in England and Scotland, that don’t have access to broadband speeds of at least 2Mbps.
The deal is expected to see the first residents get the high-speed service in March next year. Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology will make broadband speeds of more than 24Mbps available from a wide range of broadband service providers.
As part of the community fibre partnership scheme, local infant school, St Mary’s C of E, is also eligible for a £6,900 grant.
Serena Roberts, head teacher at St Mary’s C of E infant school, said: “Digital learning is an important tool to help children learn interactively and get involved first hand with digital technology. Having faster internet will help our school in the way we learn, interact online and enjoy access to more digital resources, an important consideration to help pupils in their development for the future.”
Jean Thompson, resident, said “The need for superfast broadband is paramount to support the increasing demands of the residents, its primary school, the village hall and many local businesses. Funding was raised by a combination of contributions from the village hall and each household and match funding by Openreach through their schools funding program.
Steve Haines, managing director of next generation access for Openreach, said: “It is great to be able to work with proactive communities like those in Norney and Shacklefordto find a fibre broadband solution. We are working on hundreds of similar community fibre partnership programmes across the UK, which are bringing faster internet access to areas not covered by any private or public funded fibre broadband rollout plans. Openreach is committed to making fibre broadband as widely available as possible.
“More than 97 per cent of households and businesses in Guildford already have access to superfast speeds and, nationally, UK superfast broadband coverage will rise to 95 per cent by the end of 2017. More than 400 communities across the country have already signed up to Openreach’s co-funded Community Fibre Partnerships scheme with nearly 200 already enjoying the benefits of superfast broadband.”
For more information on community fibre partnerships with BT, visit www.communityfibre.bt.com
For more details on the roll-out of fibre broadband visit www.openreach.co.uk/whereandwhen
 More than 97 per cent of households and businesses in Guildford already have access to superfast speeds, according to independent broadband website ThinkBroadband.com
About OpenreachOpenreach is Britain’s digital network business. That means we connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses – large and small – to the world. It’s our mission to build the best possible network with the highest quality service, and make sure that everyone in Britain can be connected.
Our 30,400 people work on behalf of more than 580 communications providers like Sky, Talk Talk, Vodafone, Plusnet, EE and BT. Our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, covering more than 26.8 million premises. And our technology is the basis of Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest in the G20 as a proportion of GDP.
We’re working hard to give people the broadband speeds they need at work and at home. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £11bn into our network. And we now manage more than 158 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, and from Wales to the east coast. But we’re not stopping there – we’re making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.
We’re an independently governed business within the BT Group. Our business is highly regulated, and more than 90 per cent of our revenue comes from services that are regulated by Ofcom. Any company can access our products under the same prices, terms and conditions.
In the year ending 31 March 2017, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.
To find out more about us and what we do, go toopenreach.co.uk.