The announcement was made at a major event in Telford to showcase how superfast fibre broadband will reach 98 per cent of the borough by the end of 2017.
Telford & Wrekin Council together with partners BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme held the launch to celebrate their £5.6m partnership.
The Superfast Telford programme will make fibre broadband available to a further 9,300 homes and businesses that do not currently benefit from the private sector’s commercial rollout of the technology.
It is jointly funded* by Telford & Wrekin Council, BT and the Government’s BDUK programme.
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: "I am delighted Superfast Telford is joining our nationwide rollout which will deliver superfast access to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017.
“`We are now reaching 40,000 more homes and businesses every week and today's launch is fantastic news for the 9,300 homes and businesses in Telford that will benefit from this £5.6m investment."
Surveys will start in the autumn with engineering work beginning at the end of the year to enable the first households and businesses to access services on the new network from next spring.
The Openreach network will be “open” so people opting for an upgrade will be able to choose from a wide range of broadband service providers, of which more than 140 are currently operating the UK
Today’s launch saw 80 key influencers and stakeholders gathered at the International Centre, Telford, to hear about the investment and partner commitment to the Superfast Telford programme.
They were shown case studies from other broadband programmes around the country and the council also showcased its Digital Champions Network.
Councillor Shaun Davies, cabinet member for Customer Services, said: “Today was a fantastic opportunity to tell the story of Telford’s journey to delivering superfast broadband and building a fibre network that is future proofed for generations to come.
“I am delighted by how many attended, representing a whole range of organisations and individuals including local town and parish council representatives and key members of our local business community.
“We’re absolutely committed to improving high speed coverage for our residents and businesses and this is the first big step towards 98 per cent of our borough becoming superfast.”
Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for broadband partnerships, said: “Today marks another important step forward in the development of digital communications across Telford and Wrekin.
“Increasingly the internet is touching our lives in new and exciting ways, which is why we’re keen to roll out this exciting fibre broadband technology as quickly as possible.
“Whether it’s homeworkers or small businesses wanting to share large files and other information with their customers and suppliers or families wanting to connect different devices online at the same time for educational research or leisure pursuits, everything is better, easier and faster with fibre broadband.”
All the latest information on the programme can be found on the partnership’s website www.superfast-telford.co.uk including a map searchable by postcode which will give an idea of what is happening when.
Superfast Telford Superfacts
- £5.6 million investment – Telford & Wrekin Council is contributing £2m, with £1.6m from BT and an additional £2m from BDUK
- 98% of homes and business are set to have access to superfast broadband by 2017
- 9,300 premises in Telford & Wrekin will benefit
- The first fibre services will be available in Spring 2016
- During the build we will use 430km of sub duct and new fibre to reach more than 9,000 premises – enough to go 86 times around the Wrekin
- 1,600 tonnes of earth – more than the weight of four Iron Bridges – will be moved during the programme
- More than half a million work hours will be used – equivalent to the time it would take for Telford-born Captain Webb, the first person to swim across the English Channel, to swim from Dover to Calais 45,000 times