RESIDENTS and businesses across the Black Country are being urged to make the most of the new superfast broadband technology being rolled out across the region. The call comes as the multi-million pound Black Country Broadband Project – led by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and BT – announced it had now reached another major milestone, making faster fibre broadband available to more than 40,000 local premises. The ambitious partnership also confirmed it had secured additional investment for the area from the LEP, the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme and BT, where an extra ?1.2m will enable the Black Country Broadband Project to make the technology available to an additional 2,000 local premises.
Areas to benefit from the recent move include Blackheath, Brierley Hill, Cradley Heath, Dudley, Halesowen, Kingswinford, Lye, Sedgley and Stourbridge. Ninder Johal, board member for the Black Country LEP, said: “This additional funding will help us to roll out fibre broadband even further than we’d originally planned, which is even more great news for Black Country residents and businesses.
“The Black Country Broadband Project is making terrific progress, but we’re keen for more local people to take advantage and upgrade their broadband service, which they can do at little or no extra cost, to ensure they don’t get left behind in a world where so many things rely on us having access to fast, reliable broadband.”
So far, engineers from Openreach – the local network business which is part of BT group – have installed nearly 200,000 kilometres of optical fibre and around 370 fibre broadband road-side cabinets for the Black Country Broadband Project, which is part of the Government’s BDUK programme. Ian Binks, BT’s regional manager for the Black Country and the West Midlands, said: “High-speed fibre broadband enables businesses to share information with their customers and suppliers more easily and quickly, whether that’s around the region or on the other side of the world.
“At home it opens up new learning and leisure opportunities, making it easier for families to connect several devices to the internet at the same time to download music, play games, watch catch-up TV and do research and online shopping, without worrying about buffering.”
The Black Country Broadband Project was launched to bring fibre broadband to areas of the region that are not already able to access faster fibre broadband as a result of any commercial roll-outs of fibre broadband by the private sector.
Splatoon 2 latest rumours – release date, UK price, pre-orders and gameplay
Here’s everything we know about the sequel to the cult favourite Wii U shooter for Nintendo Switch. Read the latest rumours on the Splatoon 2 gameplay, price and pre-orders, and UK launch date.
Splatoon 2 is coming to the Nintendo Switch – here’s everything we know
Splatoon 2 was one of the games that Nintendo revealed during its January Nintendo Switch Presentation, unveiling a trailer and giving some fans and press the chance to try the game out. See also: Nintendo Switch review
The sequel to the popular Wii U multiplayer shooter is still a few months off, but here’s everything we know so far about the game, including its release date, price, and gameplay features. Read next: Most anticipated Nintendo Switch games Latest update: Switch owners can now download the Splatoon 2 beta ahead of the start of the Global Testfire event in late March – read more.
When is the Splatoon 2 release date?
Splatoon 2 UK release date: Summer 2017
Nintendo hasn’t yet announced a specific release date for the game beyond the broad ‘summer 2017’ window, so we don’t know exactly when to expect the game.
How much will Splatoon 2 cost in the UK?
Splatoon 2 UK price: ?59.99
Like other major Switch games, we expect Splatoon 2 to have an RRP of ?59.99, and indeed that’s the price at which retailers have begun offering pre-orders. You can already claim the game from Amazon and Game, and we expect more stores to follow suit and begin taking pre-orders before too long.
From what we’ve seen so far, anyone who’s played the first Splatoon should find the sequel very familiar. For the uninitiated, it’s an online multiplayer arena shooter, but instead of shooting bullets, you shoot coloured ink. You use this to both attack enemies and cover the walls and floor, giving you space to swim through as a squid (you’re an ‘inkling’, and can transform into a squid at will), and the winning team is the one that covers the most of the map.
There will also be local multiplayer for those who don’t want to play online, and as with the first game we’re expecting some sort of single-player campaign to work through. Early indications are that Nintendo’s focus will be on the multiplayer however, with efforts to make Splatoon 2 popular as an eSport. That’s particularly clear thanks to the announcement that up to eight Switch systems will be able to connect over LAN for lag-free multiplayer, in addition to a Private Battle Spectator View to allow spectators to watch the game from multiple angles.
Read next: Super Mario Odyssey news and rumours There’s also a selection of weapons and outfits to unlock, and that’s where we’re expecting the biggest additions from the first game, with plenty of new unlockables – and no doubt some new maps to play on too. The game will also be compatible with existing Splatoon amiibo figures, and we’d expect Nintendo to release some new ones too.
It runs from 14-17 April in Birmingham in the UK, and Nintendo will be there with the Switch, exhibiting not just Splatoon 2, but also Arms, Mario Kart 8: Deluxe Edition, and more. Nintendo is also giving Switch owners a chance to try Splatoon 2 out early, running a free beta weekend in March called the Splatoon 2 Global Testfire. The free weekend will run from 24 March – 26 March 2017, though the game won’t be available to play for that whole time – instead there will be six specific one-hour slots in which it’s available.
Players will have access to four main weapons, including the new Splat Dualies and remixed versions of the Splat Roller and Splat Charger from the original game. Eager players can download the beta version of Splatoon 2 now ahead of the Global Testfire event, so it’s ready to go as soon as the free beta kicks off. Head to the Nintendo eShop on your Switch to grab your copy, and get the 410MB download out of the way ahead of time.
Here’s when you’ll be able to take part in the Global Testfire: March 24th from 7pm GMT
March 25th from 3am GMT
March 25th from 11am GMT
March 25th from 7pm GMT
March 26th from 4am GMT
March 26th from 12pm GMT Find out more in the slightly surreal trailer for the beta:
- ^ see more by Dominic Preston (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ Nintendo Switch (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ Nintendo Switch hands-on review (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ Most anticipated Nintendo Switch games (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ read more (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ Zelda: Breath of the Wild news and rumours (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ Amazon (amzn.to)
- ^ Game (www.game.co.uk)
- ^ Super Mario Odyssey news and rumours (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ Nintendo Switch vs Wii U review (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ Insomnia60 (www.theticketfactory.com)