Published: Monday, 12 December 2016
The Superfast Telford broadband partnership is celebrating the achievement of two important milestones.
More than 2,000 homes and businesses across the borough are now able to access faster fibre broadband as a result of the partnership, which connected the first premises in Dawley around 12 months ago.
Other areas of the borough to benefit so far include Lawley and Oakengates.
In addition, households and businesses in Ironbridge, Lightmoor, Rodington and Waters Upton have been able to access fibre broadband for the first time as a result of the Superfast Telford roll-out.
Local residents Emma and Edward Thomas were among the first to opt for an upgrade when fibre broadband went ‘live’ in Waters Upton.
Emma, a senior executive in an international financial services firm, said: “We wanted high-speed broadband in order for us both to be online at the same time, and because we often need to connect a number of different devices to the internet. It has made a huge difference to us since we upgraded in May.
“Having access to this kind of technology means we can live in the countryside but be as connected as if we were in the city. I think it is very important that people like us can work from home and not have to travel miles to work every day or even have to move back to the city to do our jobs.
“These days we do everything online, especially since having our baby in July. Being able to do things like internet banking and shopping makes things a million times easier, especially in the run-up to Christmas.
“We also use iplayer a lot for downloading and catching up with TV. But the new service is also fast enough to stream live content as it happens rather than having to download overnight.”
Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, said: "Fast, reliable broadband is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Superfast speeds will bring significant benefits to people in Telford and Wrekin - helping them to do business, access public services and connect with family and friends in a simpler and quicker way. It's great to hear more than 2,000 homes and businesses are now able to connect and I hope many more will follow."
Councillor Angela McClements, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Customer and Neighbourhood Services, said: “We are really pleased with the progress that the partnership is making to get fibre broadband to our communities across the borough. As the roll-out continues even more households and businesses will be able to benefit in the coming weeks and months thanks to the terrific work of the project team.
“It’s important to remind people that upgrades do not happen automatically. Once an area has gone ‘live’, households and businesses who want to take advantage of the many benefits, like the Thomas family, need to opt for an upgrade through their chosen fibre broadband provider.”
Ian Binks, BT’s regional manager for the West Midlands, said: “Faster fibre broadband is changing the way people communicate, learn and do business.
“Whether you’re updating a website, researching the internet for homework or using it for catch-up TV – everything is easier, better and faster if you use fibre broadband, especially at this busy time of the year.”
By the end of 2017, around 9,300 households and businesses will have access to fibre broadband, with 8,800 of them able to get ‘superfast’ download speeds of 24 megabits per second (Mbps) and above.
As the Openreach network is open to all communications providers, local households opting for an upgrade will be able to order fibre broadband with download speeds of up to 80Mbps and uploads of up to 20Mbps* from a wide range of service providers.