90% of homes and businesses in Buckinghamshire now have broadband, after a huge project across the county.
And that’s being celebrated because most of this was done on-schedule and was cheaper than expected. High speed broadband is an essential for modern life, which is why BTVLEP has made it one of its top priorities. So much so that the Connected Counties project, a partnership involving Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire County Councils, Herts and Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnerships, Buckinghamshire Business First and BT, has achieved 100% of its targets for the first phase of rollout of superfast broadband to cover 90% of premises in Buckinghamshire.
Not only that, this rollout to more than 45,000 homes and businesses in Buckinghamshire was achieved on schedule and under budget. Michael Garvey, Board Member of Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership and Joint Chairman of the Connected Counties Broadband Project Board, said:
“We are delighted with the progress of the roll-out of broadband across Buckinghamshire as high speed fibre broadband is essential if local businesses are to remain competitive.
“As one of the most productive economies in the country we want to continue to provide the conditions for businesses to thrive at the beating heart of the national economy.”
What do businesses think?
Superfast broadband provides many economic and social benefits, including job creation, online education, remote health care, support for intelligent transport and mobility and so much more. One businessman who has seen the impact of superfast broadband is Simon Clark a consultant for the oil and gas industry living in Whiteleaf, Buckinghamshire who said:
“I made contact with the Connected Counties team to see if we were going to be upgraded as part of their programme.
“Thankfully it was and now we get an amazing 75Mbps download speed, which is more than 12 times faster than what I had before, it’s amazing.”
Philippa Batting, Managing Director of Buckinghamshire Business First, said:
“Buckinghamshire has one the largest concentration of small businesses in the country, many of whom work from home or are in rural areas so it is essential that we work together to ensure all businesses across the county can benefit from superfast broadband.
“Thanks to the Connected Counties programme delivered by Buckinghamshire Business First on behalf of Buckinghamshire County Council and local partners, we now have plans in place for almost 95% of the county to receive superfast broadband.”
‘An essential, not a luxury’
Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council, said:
“High speed broadband is a modern life essential, not a luxury, for every resident and business.
“That’s why it continues to be one of the County Council’s top priorities.
“It’s good to see that we’ve made great progress connecting residents and businesses in areas that commercial providers would otherwise consider uneconomical, but there’s more work to do to ensure that everyone has access.”
More on the project
The Connected Counties Broadband partnership started connecting the first premises in Buckinghamshire to fibre broadband as part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme just over two years ago. Since then, engineers from Openreach, BT’s network business, have installed over 200 new road-side cabinets across Buckinghamshire to facilitate coverage across the county. Bill Murphy Managing Director of Next Generation access for BT, said:
“The achievement of this key milestone shows the great progress that has been made by the Connected Counties partnership.
“This highly successful partnership is overcoming the engineering challenges posed by a rural area to get superfast fibre broadband to some of the county’s most remote locations.
“The arrival of this exciting technology is a major boost for local communities because whatever you do online you can do it better with fibre broadband.”
With this momentum in place the project now has plans in place for 95% of the county to receive superfast broadband by 2017.
This second rollout of superfast broadband in Buckinghamshire will start later this year and we are working to extend coverage via the Government’s Superfast Extension Programme (SEP), supported by a package of local funding.