Blackburn and Bacup to be linked to latest high-speed fibre-optic …

Blackburn and Bacup to be linked to latest high-speed fibre-optic broadband

8:55am Wednesday 22nd May 2013 in News1 Photograph of the Author By Bill Jacobs, Local government reporter2

BLACKBURN and Bacup will be linked to the latest high-speed fibre broadband for the first time this summer.

Darwen and Nelson are set to follow by spring next year.

The hi-tech news has come from UK telecoms giant BT as its Openreach engineers extend the network across Lancashire.

North west regional director Mike Blackburn said: Nearly 30,000 homes and businesses in Blackburn are joining the high-speed revolution as engineers complete the local investment in the coming weeks.

Blackburn will be followed by Aughton Green, Bacup, Bamber Bridge, Garstang and Kirkham.

Burscough, Darwen, Nelson and South Shore are earmarked for upgrades by the end of spring 2014, taking the total number of homes and businesses across Lancashire able to benefit from BT s 2.5 billion fibre roll-out programme to more than 416,000.

BT s fibre network is expanding rapidly across the region bringing a boost for local economies wherever it goes.

The arrival of fibre in Blackburn can really help local firms in these economically challenging times, opening up new ways of working and speeding up vital operations, such as file and data transfers, conferencing and computer back-up, all of which may also help cut costs.

Blackburn with Darwen council leader Kate Hollern said: The expansion of superfast broadband is crucial to both our economy and the quality of people s lives, especially to those living in rural communities.

Residents and businesses will benefit hugely from this investment.

It will help people access jobs, it will help businesses grow, support new businesses who are starting up and it will attract more investment into the borough.

Mr Blackburn added: We re keen to work with the public sector to extend fibre broadband to the remaining parts of the country that are harder to reach, and in many places, including Lancashire, that s already happening.


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