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Multi-million pound Superfast Staffordshire celebrates passing key Government milestone

Press release   •   Dec 01, 2017 10:00 GMT

Openreach engineer at work in rural Staffordshire

Ninety-five per cent of Staffordshire households and businesses can now get superfast fibre broadband.

The major milestone was confirmed today by Staffordshire County Council and BT Group, who spearhead the Superfast Staffordshire partnership.

Superfast Staffordshire is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, which aims to make superfast broadband available to 95 per cent of the country by the end of the year.

The latest communities to benefit from the Superfast Staffordshire roll-out include: Alrewas, Baldwin’s Gate, Barnfields Industrial Estate in Leek, Calton, Chorlton, Elford, Four Ashes, Hanbury, Maer, Pattingham, Rangemore Hall, Salt, Stableford Caravan Park, Springhill, Swindon, Tatenhill, Waterhouses and Whitgreave.

Councillor Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader, said: “Reaching this important milestone in the run-up to Christmas and ahead of the Government’s national target date is a terrific achievement and shows our commitment to make this important technology available to as many parts of Staffordshire as quickly as possible.

“We’re using a combination of technologies and co-funding solutions to ensure even residents and businesses in the smallest, most remote parts of our county have access to this essential technology.”

The upgrade work is being carried out by engineers from Openreach, the business responsible for Britain’s largest digital phone and broadband network.

Steve Haines, Openreach’s managing director of next generation access, said: “The broadband landscape across Staffordshire has been transformed in recent years so that the great majority of households and businesses can now get superfast speeds. And we are most certainly not stopping there. We’re committed to going further with superfast and ultrafast broadband.

“Increasingly high-speed broadband is no longer a ‘nice to have’ – it is a ‘must have’. Reaching this important milestone at this busy time of the year is particularly good news for people wanting to use the internet more than usual for online shopping and ‘click and collect’ services. At home, it enables families to connect to several different devices at the same time, so children can play online games without affecting parents or grandparents while they watch catch-up television or contact friends and relatives abroad.

“This exciting technology also breaks down barriers to doing business in the digital world, around Staffordshire and across the globe. It helps small businesses to find new markets, sell new products and communicate more easily and quickly with their customers, suppliers and employees.”

So far Superfast Staffordshire has enabled around 74,000 households and businesses to connect to superfast broadband speeds. The figure rises to more than 477,000**when combined with commercial fibre roll-outs by private sector businesses, such as Openreach.

People can follow the progress of the roll-out via the Superfast Staffordshire website: www.superfaststaffordshire.co.uk and via Twitter @superfaststaffs

Because the fibre broadband network is being installed by Openreach, households and businesses have a wide choice of fibre broadband providers. Upgrades do not happen automatically. Anyone wanting to benefit needs to place an order with their chosen fibre broadband provider.

Notes to Editors

**Source: Thinkbroadband

The 95 per cent superfast broadband coverage figure has been achieved as a result of superfast broadband roll-outs by Superfast Staffordshire combined with private sector investment by network businesses like Openreach.

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Issued by Staffordshire County Council and Openreach on behalf of Superfast Staffordshire.

For more information please contact Tom Hobbins at Staffordshire County Council on 01785 276832 or email: tom.hobbins@staffordshire.gov.uk

or

Emma Tennant at the Openreach regional press office on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.com Twitter: @EmmaTennantBT

All Openreach news releases can be accessed on our web site.

About Superfast Staffordshire

Superfast Staffordshire is a partnership between Staffordshire County Council, the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme (BDUK) and BT Group. It builds on the commercial roll-outs in the county.

The first phase of the Superfast Staffordshire programme represents an investment of more than £27 million (£7.44 million from Staffordshire County Council, £7.44m from BDUK and £12.47m from BT.)

In the second phase of the programme - known as the Superfast Extension Programme - a total of £10.18m will be spent to deliver superfast fibre broadband to around 12,700 more county premises (£2.7m from unallocated funding combined with cost efficiency savings during contract 1, £2.18m from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Superfast Extension Programme, £2.8m from BT Group together with an extra £2.4m also from BT Group following higher than expected take-up of fibre broadband). This will take the percentage of county premises able to access superfast fibre broadband by the end of 2018 to 96 per cent.

For those premises not included in the fibre footprint, Superfast Staffordshire is aiming to improve broadband speeds using alternative technologies and community fibre co-funding partnerships.

*Speeds referred to are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all broadband service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

About Superfast Britain

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:

  1. £790m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017;
  2. £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities; and
  3. £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services.

    Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.

    For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk

    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 590 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and BT, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more 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.

    Any company can access our products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions.

    For the year ended 31 March 2017, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.

    For more information, visit openreach.co.uk

    About BT

    BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

    For the year ended 31 March 2017, BT Group’s reported revenue was £24,062m with reported profit before taxation of £2,354m.

    British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

    For more information, visit www.btplc.com

About us

Openreach 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, TalkTalk, Vodafone 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 of the G20 countries.

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 owned by BT Group and independently governed. 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 to openreach.co.uk.