High-speed fibre broadband is to be available to more than 3,000 extra homes and businesses, the Superfast Northamptonshire project has announced today.
This will allow the project to now bring the technology to parts of Woodford Halse, Brackley and Yarwell for the first time, as well as expanding coverage in Kettering, Daventry, Towcester, Kingsthorpe, Desborough, Northampton town centre, Rushden and Roade.
The vast majority of these areas will be able to access superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps and above by summer 2015, at no additional cost to the scheme, Northamptonshire County Council has announced.
The opportunity came about during planning and surveying for the project. Engineers managed to work out ways to further extend the new network and install an extra thirteen green fibre broadband cabinets.
Councillor Andre Gonzalez De Savage, Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure and economic growth, said: “This is excellent news for the people of Northamptonshire and particularly for those in the areas which will benefit from this latest development.
“Having fast broadband speeds is becoming increasingly important for households and essential for businesses that want to compete in the global economy.”
Owen Moody, BT’s East Midlands regional director, added: “The Superfast Northamptonshire partnership is going from strength to strength.
By working closely with the council, we have been able to reach even more Northamptonshire homes and businesses, at no additional cost to the project.
“Fibre broadband boosts the competitiveness of local businesses, helping them to find new customers and operate more efficiently, whilst opening up a host of new learning and development opportunities for local people as well as providing easier access to local authority and health services.”
The project is part of a £11.4m capital investment by the county council, BT and the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) to deploy fibre-based broadband to more than 56,000 homes and businesses by the end of 2015.
The project builds on BT’s commercial roll-out in the county, which has already made fibre broadband available to more than 175,000 homes and businesses in the county.
It also establishes the foundation for Northamptonshire County Council’s plans to secure access to superfast broadband for all businesses and homes in the county by the end of 2017.
A spokesman for County Hall said: “The new fibre-based network will be open to all internet service providers on an equivalent basis.
“Households and businesses in Northamptonshire will therefore benefit from a highly competitive market, bringing greater choice and affordable prices.
“Fibre broadband will enable people to run multiple bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time and send and receive large amounts of data much more quickly and efficiently.
“This will make things like gaming, watching BBC i-Player, using Skype to keep in touch with friends and family anywhere in the world, or downloading films and music much quicker and without annoying ‘buffering’ or screen freeze.
“It can also boost the competitiveness of local businesses, which are able to quickly and easily download and upload large documents and data to customers and suppliers and make greater use of video conferencing and remote working.”
People interested in the higher online speeds can ask their internet provider about how to upgrade to a superfast broadband service or go to www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/buy-it-now/ to find out more about what is available.