WILTSHIRE Council and BT have confirmed that more than 5,000 additional homes and businesses across the county are to benefit from access to fibre broadband. Wiltshire Online, the partnership between Wiltshire Council, BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme, has already made fibre broadband available to more than 83,000 homes and businesses across the county since it began in 2013. And households and businesses have been quick to take advantage of the faster broadband. More than a third of those able to access the new technology as a result of the Wiltshire Online roll-out have already opted for an upgrade.
This high demand has resulted in ?2.8 million being reinvested in the programme to further increase fibre broadband coverage in communities across the county. The high level plans are available at a postcode level on the Wiltshire Online website. Welcoming the announcement, John Thomson, Wiltshire Council deputy leader and cabinet member for broadband, said yesterday: “Wiltshire is a great place to do business and having fibre broadband to match means more people can now benefit from the right technology in a fast paced world. We are working hard towards 100 percent coverage across Wiltshire.
“I’m delighted that more homes and businesses will now have broadband which will make such a positive difference to people’s business and home lives.”
Richard Leeding, BT’s programme manager, said: “This extension is great news for those communities in Wiltshire not included in the current fibre roll-out programme.
“Superfast broadband has a huge impact on the way we live. It helps business to move, act and trade quickly and effectively. It enables school children to access their homework online, as well as offering households better access to e-commerce, essential online services, social media and home entertainment.
For all of these things, superfast broadband is a huge boost.”
The Wiltshire Online programme is making the high-speed technology available in areas which fall outside the private sector’s commercial roll-out of fibre broadband.
More information about the programme can be found at Wiltshire Council’s Wiltshire Online website www.wiltshireonline.org
The objectives for each are:
o To improve connectivity and provision of broadband access for the businesses and citizens of Wiltshire
o To increase the range, take-up and usage of online services by the public to access council services
o To work alongside communities to ensure that everyone has opportunities to become digitally literate and confident users of technology
For more information visit www.wiltshireonline.org
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The company has taken over a space which has been empty for many years above the Pizza Express restaurant in the bustling Market Place. The new business centre will be named The Causeway. David Brown, managing director said: We re excited about this new development. We will be able to create much-needed office space in central Chippenham which is more cost effective and ideal for small businesses and new start-ups.
The Causeway will initially provide five office suites all of which already have tenants. At the same time Openit is closing the Riverside Conference Centre which operated at Avonbridge House.
David said: It will be sad to be leaving Avonbridge House after nine years. However it s no longer commercially viable with the escalating upkeep of the iconic and listed former Nestle factory.
Work has begun on equipping the new business centre in the Market Place with the latest high speed fibre broadband and tenants will move on in shortly. Openit provides and runs business accommodation for small businesses across a number of Wiltshire sites.
It also offers a facilities management service looking after buildings owned by others and provides a disaster recovery service for businesses which take resilience seriously.
Pictured above: David Brown, managing director of Openit