Chinnor and Emmington residents welcome superfast broadband in landmark ceremony

Residents and businesses in Emmington and Chinnor Hill have welcomed the arrival of superfast broadband in a ceremony to mark the county’s 600th fibre cabinet.

The unveiling was hosted by County Councillor David Bartholomew, cabinet member for finance, local MP John Howell, and DCMS programme director, Justin Leese.

The Oxfordshire Better Broadband programme has already delivered fibre cabinets to nearby communities in Sydenham, Kingston Blount, Aston Rowant, Sprigs Holly, Crowell, Hinton, and most recently Emmington.

The Chinnor Hill ‘box’ is the 600th cabinet delivered under the programme, which brings superfast broadband coverage in Oxfordshire to 97%.

The Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme is part of the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) initiative; a partnership between Oxfordshire County Council, Openreach, and BDUK.

County Councillor David Bartholomew said: “Each new fibre cabinet allows more residents and businesses to enjoy the benefits of fast internet access, essential for a thriving, connected community.

“With this being the 600th cabinet completed, that means an average of over two communities every week are joining the superfast broadband world.”

Justin Leese, Programme Director from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: "Through a combination of Government, Local, and Supplier funding, over £32m has been invested in providing Superfast connectivity to homes and businesses in Oxfordshire. It's been a tremendous partnership between all of the teams involved to achieve this level of coverage."

Openreach director Alan Hall said: “We are delighted to have been the delivery partner for the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme. As the project draws to a close, over 76,000 Oxfordshire premises have been linked to superfast broadband.”

John Howell, MP for Henley, said: “It is great to see the Oxfordshire Broadband programme continuing to rollout and enabling more and more rural communities to get good access to what is increasingly a vital everyday service. This is something that I have long lobbied for and will continue to do so.”

Better Broadband for Oxfordshire is due to complete coverage under the contract with Openreach in June 2019 with around 2,000 further premises to connect.

The programme is then focussing on a project to install full fibre broadband to business in rural Oxfordshire in a £6.3m project funded by Defra, and is planned to get underway in June this year.