Rural rollout of superfast broadband to begin
Businesses in Royal Wootton Bassett, Purton, Alderbury and Downton will be among the first to benefit from a multi-million pound partnership between Wiltshire Council, BT and South Gloucestershire Council.
The rollout will see 91 per cent of premises in Wiltshire connected to superfast broadband of between 24Mbps and 80Mbps by the end of March 2016.
Once complete, nearly 1,500 kilometres of fibre cabling will be laid across the county, and more than 300 new fibre cabinets.
Royal Wootton Bassett, Purton, Alderbury and Downton are the first communities to be announced and will be able to order fibre broadband from spring 2014.
This announcement marks the beginning of the roll out of fibre broadband by the partnership. More than 10,000 homes and businesses in Wiltshire will be able to connect to fibre broadband by June 2014 under the project as it rolls out to other areas in the county.
The £35.6 million project is one of the first in the country to deliver broadband to communities and businesses thanks to a partnership between the two councils and BT, along with funding from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.
John Thomson, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for broadband, said: “Wiltshire Council has invested £15.5m into this project, so I am delighted we have reached another milestone to deliver this much needed service.
“These are just the first of many of our communities who will benefit from high speed broadband access. As well as communities, this will provide a huge boost to existing businesses in our county and attract those looking to move in.”
Bill Murphy, managing director next generation networks for BT Group, said:“ The arrival of high-speed fibre broadband will be a major step forward for these communities. Whatever you do online you can do it better with fibre broadband.
“The fact that rural communities, such as Royal Wootton Bassett, Purton, Alderbury and Downton will be among the first to benefit from this partnership demonstrates our collective determination to get this exciting technology to more challenging locations, which fall outside the private sector’s commercial plan.”
Communications minister Ed Vaizey said: “Today’s announcement is brilliant news for the people and businesses of Wiltshire. Widespread access to superfast broadband will provide a tremendous boost to the local economy and these plans will see 91 per cent of properties benefiting from all that superfast speeds have to offer.”