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SwitchStaffs Campaign to Unlock the Potential of Faster Broadband

Press release   •   Apr 05, 2019 10:11 BST

Openreach engineers at work

More Staffordshire residents are being urged to get connected to faster broadband, now that most of the county is able to access the technology.

Across Staffordshire, more than 75,000 homes and businesses can benefit from faster speeds thanks to the county council’s £32 million Superfast Staffordshire partnership with Openreach.

When combined with Openreach’s own commercial rollout, it means more than 95 per cent of homes and businesses across the county can switch.

More than half have already done so, but it’s thought many people might not be aware faster speeds are available, think they’ve automatically been upgraded or mistakenly believe it’s going to be too expensive.

To make sure people understand their options, the county council’s broadband team have launched a ‘SwitchStaffs’ campaign – including a new website at www.switchstaffs.com – to give people tips and advice on how to make the switch and on different providers.

Staffordshire County Council leader Philip Atkins said: “The Superfast Staffordshire programme has been a huge success – enabling over 75,000 properties to connect to superfast broadband which had been previously been unable to do so. Furthermore over half of those have decided to get connected.

“With most areas of the county now able to connect, we’re urging people to check the programme to find out more. Fibre broadband connection can make a significant difference to day-to-day living and broadening opportunities in addition to improving business productivity.

“We are pleased to have reached 95 per cent coverage of the county, but I’d again like to reassure people that we will continue to do all we can to find solutions for those not yet in included in the plan.”

Recent areas to get connected include Bradnop and Winkhill in the Staffordshire Moorlands; Blackheath Lane, Tixall Road, Cranberry and Cotes Heath in Stafford borough; Church Leigh, Withington and Stramshall in East Staffordshire; Brinsford, Featherstone and Smestow in South Staffordshire and Birches Valley in Cannock Chase.

Carl Sproston, Openreach’s partnership director, said: “Our partnership here in Staffordshire has been a real success story so far, but we know there is still more to do. Our work is now taking place in some of the most rural parts of the county, but our skilled engineers are trained to overcome the challenges this brings.

“There are many advantages of faster speeds, for both home users and businesses, and I’d strongly urge everyone to check if they live in a fibre-enabled area, and if so, get in touch with their broadband provider to find out more about upgrading.”

Superfast broadband is now considered as an important feature in the home, enabling people to access a range of leisure, education and other services and to work flexibly.

People can choose any broadband provider to get connected and can find out more on the Superfast Staffordshire website. They can also find out about broadband provision and how easy it is to switch or change provider through Ofcom’s boostyourbroadband.com website.

People can find out more about the programme and view an interactive map at www.superfaststaffordshire.co.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 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