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The reach widens for superfast broadband

Press release   •   Feb 27, 2019 11:47 GMT

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member with responsibility for ICT (left) with Alan Bagley, Openreach project manager for Cheshire, with the mobile billboard being used as part of the campaign

A new campaign has been launched to raise awareness of the increased coverage of superfast broadband across Cheshire, Halton and Warrington.

The drive is being delivered by the Connecting Cheshire Partnership, made up of four Cheshire councils, infrastructure provider Openreach and the UK government, with funding provided by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Across the region, more than 90,000 additional premises can now access superfast broadband, with download speeds of over 24Mbps, as a result of the Connecting Cheshire roll-out, which began in 2013.

Research carried out by independent analysts ThinkBroadband states that superfast broadband is now available to around 97 per cent of homes and businesses across the Cheshire and Warrington area.

Connection to fibre broadband does not happen automatically and customers are advised to check with their current broadband provider if they can access a faster speed. See more at: www.connectingcheshire.org.uk

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member with responsibility for ICT, said: “Since the Connecting Cheshire project began, the growth in online entertainment and business tools has been huge, from smart speakers to social media, all requiring a fast and reliable broadband service.

“I would recommend everyone to check their availability and, where possible, connect to a faster service and package to suit their needs – and subject to securing further funding, we hope to reach those not yet able to benefit, particularly in our more rural areas.”

Digital minister Margot James said: “Our rollout of superfast broadband across the UK is reaching thousands more homes and businesses every week. Cheshire residents and businesses can now reap the clear benefits that superfast broadband provides and I would urge people to check if they can get connected.

“As more people take up a superfast connection, funding is returned to the programme, which can potentially be reinvested further to help break down the digital divide.”

Robert Thorburn, Openreach partnership director, said: “From children doing their homework to caring for our elderly population and from social media to e-commerce and home entertainment – fast broadband is the critical enabler. Faster broadband also breaks down the barriers to doing business in the digital world, empowering local businesses and supporting them to trade and compete on a global scale.”

The campaign to raise awareness of superfast broadband coverage in Cheshire, Halton and Warrington is managed by the Skills and Growth Company – an arms-length company wholly-owned by Cheshire East Council.

Openreach is the UK’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.

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