THE pace of life in one of the UK’s best-loved villages is set to speed up after getting superfast broadband. Inkberrow – thought to be the setting for Ambridge, home of The Archers radio drama – is one of the latest areas to get superfast fibre broadband through the partnership being led by Worcestershire County Council and BT Group. Around 1,300 households and businesses in Inkberrow are now able to get the technology, including the area around The Old Bull, the pub which is said to be the inspiration for the Archers’ fictional The Bull pub.
Michael McCarthy, pub owner, said: “Everything is online these days so it’s really important to me and to the business that people can look online whilst they are here. “With improved broadband speeds we can offer free Wi-Fi to our customers. In today’s digital world this is a service you can’t do without, and this is fantastic news for our village pub.”
Engineers from Openreach – the business responsible for Britain’s largest phone and broadband network – have installed nine fibre broadband cabinets to connect local premises to the new network. Steve Haines, Openreach’s managing director of next generation access, said: “Because the pub is situated so close to one of the new fibre broadband cabinets, it has the potential to be one of the best connected pubs in the country. “And villagers will be able to catch up on missed episodes of The Archers on iPlayer without any buffering.”
Around 250,000 households and businesses across Worcestershire can now access superfast fibre broadband as a result of Superfast Worcestershire and private sector investment by companies like Openreach.
Councillor Ken Pollock, cabinet member responsible for economy and infrastructure, said: “The partnership has provided a number of fibre cabinets in Inkberrow, and work to connect more properties in the village is ongoing.
People should take note that when the new technology is available, the switch to superfast speeds isn’t automatic – customers must upgrade via an internet provider.”
Superfast Worcestershire Broadband Programme committed to delivering broadband in Worcestershire take part in …
MEMBERS of a team committed to delivering broadband in Worcestershire will be taking part in an annual charity event this weekend. Superfast Worcestershire Broadband Programme, which includes employees from Worcestershire County Council1, Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, BT and Openreach, will be taking time out from delivering high-speed fibre broadband across the county to tackle Worcester Dragon Boat Racing Club’s annual charity regatta – Race the Dragon. The race involved 25 teams and will be held this Sunday, July 2, on the River Severn by Pitchcroft.
The 17-strong crew from Worcestershire LEP, WCC, BT and Openreach, all involved in the programme to make fibre broadband available, will be wearing Superfast Worcestershire vests and raising money for Worcester-based Onside Advocacy. The charity provides advocacy and other support services to ensure fairness and equality for adults who may be vulnerable, disadvantaged or discriminated against. Adam Johnstone, a senior project manager for Openreach, said: “Working on a project like Superfast Worcestershire, we know how important team work is.”
Anyone who would like to support the crew in their fundraising can make an online donation at justgiving.com/fundraising/superfastworcestershire.
CONSERVATIVE Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Sajid Javid has put the Bromsgrove economy at the centre of his campaign, including pledging to work hard to help bring more business to the area and continuing to hold annual jobs fairs if elected. Mr Javid, who has hosted three successful Jobs Fairs so far, would organise the fourth one for February 2, 2018. He said the employment rate had dropped in Bromsgrove to a record rate of just one per cent under the Conservative government.
“Only Theresa May and the Conservatives can build on this record and guarantee a strong and stable economy.
“Although we have seen a record fall of 55 per cent in unemployment in the Bromsgrove constituency, there’s still more to do. My three annual jobs fairs have offered more than 3,500 job opportunities for local residents, and already companies have got in touch to sign up for my next fair.
“I’m determined to carry this on and, if re-elected, I will be hosting my Jobs Fair next February – and each year- to help make sure local people are seeing the opportunities they deserve.”
Mr Javid added he would also meet regularly with local businesses as he has been doing. He said it gave him the opportunity to listen to them, see how he could help them and promote them.
Some of the local businesses he has recently visited have included Fork Lift Truck Training, Open Safety Technology International Ltd, Polly Put the Kettle On and Phoenix Flooring. He also gets together with groups which represent firms, such as the Federation of Small Businesses and the Chambers of Commerce to see how he can help local businesses. And Mr Javid said he had also helped to bring more Superfast Broadband coverage, working with the county council to deliver it.
“After this, the Bromsgrove constituency now has 95 per cent Superfast Broadband coverage.”