Six communities in Wiltshire were today (September 23) named as the latest to benefit from a multi-million pound superfast broadband partnership between Wiltshire Council, South Gloucestershire Council and BT.
They are Kington Langley, Castle Combe, Broad Town, Broad Hinton, Whiteparish and Salisbury.
The £35.6m project is rolling out fibre broadband to more challenging areas that fall outside the private sector’s commercial plans. Wiltshire Council has invested £15.5m into the project, South Gloucestershire £2m, and BT £12.8m. It has also benefitted from £4.6m from the UK Government’s Superfast Britain programme and £0.74m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
This latest investment will make fibre broadband available for the first time in Kington Langley, Castle Combe, Broad Town, Broad Hinton and Whiteparish, while it will be expanding coverage in Salisbury, most of which already has access to the technology through BT’s commercial roll-out.
The first homes and businesses in these locations will be able to order fibre broadband by summer 2014.
The six latest locations join Royal Wootton Bassett, Purton, Alderbury and Downton which were announced earlier this year as the first communities to be included in the partnership’s roll-out plans. The partnership aims to make fibre broadband available to more than 10,000 Wiltshire homes and businesses by June 2014 and for 91 per cent of premises in the county to have access to superfast speeds of 24Mbps and above by the end of March 2016*.
Wiltshire Council cabinet member for broadband, John Thomson, said: “I am delighted that more communities in Wiltshire will soon be able to reap the benefits of having access to superfast broadband for the very first time.
“This project will have a hugely positive impact on those rural communities but also provide a big boost to local businesses and allow them to operate as effectively as possible. I am looking forward to announcing more Wiltshire communities who will benefit from this project in the near future”.
Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation networks for BT Group, said: “This is another important milestone for a partnership which is making rapid progress. Working with our partners, we are able to bring this exciting technology to locations where the economics and engineering challenges are that much greater.
“High-speed fibre is increasingly important if local households and businesses are to make the most of the huge range of opportunities offered by the internet, whether they are seeking to start a new business, find new customers, undertake on-line training or simply wishing to browse for entertainment or leisure purposes.”
The project aims to lay nearly 1,500 kilometres of fibre cabling and install more than 300 new street cabinets.
More information on the project can be found at www.wiltshireonline.org .