Full speed ahead – Better Broadband for Oxfordshire reaches more remote areas
Ashbury is the first community in the Vale of the White Horse to benefit from the second phase of our ambitious roll-out.
Residents, local businesses and representatives from the partnership were in Ashbury on Friday 29 July to celebrate the village becoming the first area of the district to benefit from the second phase of the roll-out, which is being co-funded by Vale of the White Horse District Council and the OxLEP (Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership).
Oxfordshire County Councillor, Nick Carter, said: “With Oxfordshire firmly over the 90 per cent superfast coverage target, it is good news the programme is now reaching even more premises, as is happening today in Ashbury. This important phase of delivery is extending fibre broadband coverage into the most rural parts of the county and we look forward to reaching over 95 per cent of households and businesses across Oxfordshire by the end of next year.”
Visitors to benefit as well as households and businesses
The arrival of faster fibre broadband was welcomed by Neil Hislop, co-owner of the Rose and Crown Inn, Ashbury who said: “Customers nowadays expect to be able to get online when out and about, and it’s great news we can now offer that to people in our pub, restaurant or staying at the Inn. All of our customers will be able to benefit and use apps like Facebook, Skype and media streaming services. But in particular, we think it’ll really benefit our business visitors who are working away from home. Not only will it allow them to work in their rooms or around the Inn during their stay, but it’ll also make it far easier for them to stay in touch with family and friends, which is obviously very important.”
Paul Bimson, BT’s regional partnership director, said: “Whether it’s families wanting to connect more than one device to the internet at the same time, or people working from home – everything is easier, better and faster with fibre broadband, which is why it’s so important that our roll-out is reaching some of the most remote parts of Oxfordshire.”
“When combined with BT’s own investment, the total number of premises in Oxfordshire able to access fibre broadband is more than 275,000.”
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.
Residents and businesses can follow the progress of the roll-out via the project website: www.betterbroadbandoxfordshire.org.uk
Notes to Editors
Pictures were taken by Andrew Walmsley L-R: Cllr Nick Carter (Oxfordshire County Council), Cllr Matthew Barber (Leader of the Vale District Council) and Paul Bimson (BT’s regional partnership director). The fibre optic broadband roll-out, which is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, is led by Oxfordshire County Council and BT.
* These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
About Better Broadband for Oxfordshire
Better Broadband for Oxfordshire is a partnership between Oxfordshire County Council, BT and BDUK.
The first phase of the programme was comprised of £25 million of funding: £10m from Oxfordshire County Council, £4m from the Government (Broadband Delivery UK) and £11m from BT. Engineering work on this phase began in August 2013 with the first homes and businesses going live in December 2013.
Further funding of £5.1 million to roll out fibre broadband was announced in February 2015 and work began earlier this year. Funding was made up of £1 million from South Oxfordshire District Council, £500,000 from Cherwell District Council, £250,000 from the Vale of the White Horse District Council, £200,000 from Oxfordshire County Council, £1.2m from BT, and a further £1.95m from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Superfast Extension Programme (SEP).
Additional funding of £5.58 million was announced in November 2015. This will increase the percentage of county homes and businesses able to get superfast fibre broadband to more than 95 per cent when combined with earlier phases of the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme and the private sector’s commercial roll-out of the technology. This funding comprises: £2 million from the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP); £120,000 from the South East Midlands LEP and Cherwell District Council; £168,000 from Oxford City Council; £2.2 million from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme and £1.1 million from BT. When combined the additional funding adds a further 12,000 premises to the programme.
Better Broadband for Oxfordshire has now completed its planned work in West Oxfordshire. Further roll-out is being carried out here by Cotswold Broadband, which is separate from Better Broadband for Oxfordshire.