Residents living in south Northamptonshire are among the first to be able to sign up for the ‘next generation’ of high speed broadband which ‘went live’ yesterday.
Government minister Ed Vaizey was at the launch which marked the first stage of deployment in Northamptonshire of new fibre powered green cabinets which support speeds of up to 80Mbps.
Most residents and businesses in the town can now benefit from faster speeds from the 10 fibre cabinets with other cabinest also ‘live’ in Weedon and Paulerspury, supporting 4,175 homes and businesses.
In the coming weeks, a further 17 fibre cabinets will be switched on across Towcester, Silverstone, Long Buckby, Braunston, Blisworth and Weedon to support 8,157 premises.
Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure, economic growth and public protection, said: “This is undoubtedly one of the biggest impacting projects we’re involved with which will make an enormous difference in bringing prosperity to the county.
“More and more, the internet is used in nearly every aspect of our lives both in business, public services and leisure.
“Having widely available superfast broadband is essential if we are to compete in the digital global economy and I’m delighted that we’ve reached such a significant stage of this initiative.
“BT has delivered more coverage two months earlier than expected at this stage of the project which is a real achievement.”
As part of this first deployment phase, engineers laid about 90km of optical fibre cable and are installing a total of 41 new fibre broadband cabinets throughout the Superfast Northamptonshire Project area
Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: “The ‘switching on’ of the first tranche of superfast broadband cabinets marks the start of a remarkable transformation of broadband throughout Northamptonshire.
“The UK already does more business online than any other European country and widespread access to superfast speeds will provide a welcome boost to Northamptonshire’s economy.”
This is part of a £11.4m investment in the county by Northamptonshire County Council, BT and the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) to deploy fibre-based broadband to more than 50,000 premises by the end of 2015.
Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for Next Generation Access, said: “This ambitious project will boost the productivity of local businesses and help to attract a more diverse range of high-growth companies to the area.
“It will play a major role in creating prosperity in the county.
The project establishes the foundation for Northamptonshire’s plans to secure access to superfast broadband for all businesses and homes in the county by 2017.
The new fibre based network will be open to all communications providers
For more information, visit www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/buy-it-now.