‘96% of homes and businesses’ have access to fibre broadband in Halton says council
High speed broadband is now available at 96% of homes and businesses in Halton according to the latest figures from Halton Borough Council and BT. A local authority spokeswoman said more than 7,500 extra residential properties have been given access under the latest phase of network upgrades. These added 43 extra roadside fibre cabinets to the area.
The figure of 96% included properties connected to the BT fibre network under the Connecting Cheshire programme, and also through commercial providers such as Virgin Media. In July last year the Weekly News revealed that taxpayers had forked out 22m including 444,500 from Halton Council toward the rollout of fibre broadband in Halton and Cheshire under the BT Openreach scheme. Some properties are still waiting to be connected.
BT’s Connecting Cheshire fibre broadband rollout map for Halton. Orange means the network is due to be upgraded to fibre by summer 2017 by Connecting Cheshire.
Blue means it is under evaluation for fibre upgrade subject to securing further funding. Darker green if areas where the network is already or due to be upgraded by spring 2016 by Connecting Cheshire. Lighter green means it is already, or due, to be upgraded to fibre by another commercial provider such as Virgin.
The latest map from October 2015 showing where properties have access to the high-speed broadband network showed most of Runcorn and Widnes were not connected by the BT rollout but by other commercial providers. Halton areas covered so far by BT s Openreach rollout include Hale, part of Manor Park and Moore. In May last year BT reported pre-tax profits of 2.645bn.
The company has also been under fire over dire broadband speeds with the Daily Telegraph reporting in January that BT chief executive Gavin Patterson was expected to be hauled before a House Of Commons committee to face a grilling over finding of a study that reported that a staggering 5.7m internet users received slower speeds than the minimum stipulated by their BT contract. Cllr Rob Polhill, Halton Council leader, said: The additional broadband coverage we have brought to Halton is already making a big impact and helping to keep our businesses competitive, including Astmoor Industrial Estate.
More coverage is coming soon in our phase two roll-out so that we can reach even more premises, especially those in our industrial areas.
I urge everyone to check their availability and upgrade to superfast broadband as it offers many fantastic benefits for your home or business, and it could well be cheaper as the market is very competitive. Tony Morgan, BT s contract director, said: High-speed fibre broadband helps to keep communities connected and ensures that businesses thrive and don t just survive.
Since 2007 BT has laid the foundations of the network for local authorities like Halton to build on.
People and businesses in Halton are increasingly taking the opportunities that this transforming technology offers.
And the Openreach engineers have worked closely with Halton to create more and more of those opportunities.