More high-speed broadband rolled out across South Cheshire …

Connecting Cheshire Partnership

High-speed fibre broadband will be rolled out to more homes across rural South Cheshire.

Around 96 per cent of Cheshire homes and businesses will be connected in the next three years under a 28.5m project between four Cheshire councils and BT.

The Connecting Cheshire Partnership has secured funding to provide additional rural broadband infrastructure to over 80,000 premises that will build on BT s on-going commercial investment in fibre across the county.

As a result more than 400,000 premises should have access to broadband speeds of up to 80Mbps by the end of 2016.

Premises in the remaining four per cent that currently experience low speeds will also see an uplift under aims to deliver a minimum of 2Mbps or more.

According to Ofcom, the county s average speed is currently around 11Mbps, while 12 per cent of the population receive less than 2Mbps.

The investment in fibre broadband will boost the local economy and help to create or protect local jobs.

Openreach, BT s local network division, will now start the work on the ground with engineers surveying locations around the county.

The first stage of the roll-out could happen as soon December 2013.

Cllr David Brown, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, on behalf of Connecting Cheshire Partnership, said: The award of this contract to BT marks the end of a comprehensive process to secure the best broadband deal for Cheshire.

The four councils across Cheshire are committed to providing reliable high-speed fibre broadband for both our home and business users.

From children doing homework, to caring for our elderly population and from social media, to ecommerce and home entertainment fast broadband is the critical enabler.

The social, environmental and economic benefits will be huge, making Cheshire one of the best-connected regions in the country.

Bill Murphy, managing director of BT Next Generation Access, added: Cheshire has a large number of small and medium sized enterprises and a high volume of business start-ups, which collectively contribute a substantial proportion of the regional economy.

The rollout of more fibre broadband will act as a powerful economic driver for these businesses.

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