Friday, 31 May 2013

Better Broadband For Cambridgeshire On Track

Plans to roll-out better broadband to reach businesses and communities across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough by the end of 2015 are on track.

Connecting Cambridgeshire has mapped out some of the first areas across the county being considered to receive the new fibre-based infrastructure bringing faster broadband speeds.

Over 50 rural parishes and urban areas are under consideration for the first phases of the roll-out delivering connectivity which will enable better broadband speeds of up to 24 Mbps and more.

A high level map giving a general indication of parishes/areas with some premises under consideration for the first phase of the roll-out can be viewed on the Connecting Cambridgeshire website at www.connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk (and see below). This is subject to survey work over the coming months and will be updated as the programme progresses to include subsequent phases of the roll-out plan.

A Parish Checker will also be provided later in the year allowing residents to find out how their area fits in to the programme, and what they can do to promote the benefits of better broadband and help more people get online.

Cambridgeshire County Council signed a milestone contract with BT in March with the support of Peterborough City Council, district councils and partners.

The Connecting Cambridgeshire programme team is now working with Openreach to carefully plan the roll-out to make the best use of public money, so that it reaches as many communities as possible by the end of 2015.

Over the coming months, Openreach and its contractors’ engineers and surveyors will be seen out and about carrying out detailed scheduling and surveys to re-design the county-wide network.

The complex planning process also involves working closely with highways and planning authorities to ensure the roll-out is as swift and efficient as possible. If surveys reveal unexpected issues it may affect when an area is connected.

The first phase of the roll-out is scheduled to deliver connectivity from December 2013 through to June 2014, with the first cabinets going ‘live with fibre’ by the end of 2013. Broadband services from a range of internet service providers will be available to premises on a rolling basis during this period as infrastructure is built and completed.

Further details of this and subsequent phases of the roll-out plan will be announced at regular intervals from September 2013, as further information is made available.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates, Cabinet Member for Growth and Planning, said: “It’s great news that the roll-out of better broadband is on its way and we’re on track for work to begin by the end of the year so we can reach every community in Cambridgeshire by the end of 2015.

“Some areas will benefit sooner than others and no-one wants to be last on the list for the roll-out, but the important thing is that we are getting on with this now. Without this intervention, around a third of premises across the county would not be able to receive superfast broadband.”

Councillor Marco Cereste, Leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “To be in the position where we are now planning the roll-out of superfast broadband is great news for Peterborough businesses and residents. Improving the City’s infrastructure is vital to drive economic growth, build connected communities and make it easier for people to access public services.”

The new broadband infrastructure will achieve the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme targets so that superfast speeds of at least 24Mbps are available to more than 90 per cent of premises with speeds of 2Mbps to 24Mbps and upwards available to very nearly 100 per cent of premises by the end of 2015.

Combined with existing commercial broadband provision, 98 per cent of homes and businesses across the county can expect to have access to fibre-based broadband by the end of the contract.

Connecting Cambridgeshire - Parishes/ Premises Under Consideration