Christmas comes early for Christmas Common

Better Broadband for Oxfordshire spreads some seasonal cheer;

More rural communities get online boost in time for Christmas

The Better Broadband for Oxfordshire partnership has delivered some early Christmas cheer to several more rural communities – including to Christmas Common itself.

The seasonally-named South Oxfordshire hamlet is one of the latest places to benefit from the partnership roll-out, which is being led by Oxfordshire County Council and BT, as part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

Other communities where fibre broadband has recently gone ‘live’ include the Grange Road area of Banbury, Britwell Salome, Cuxham, Nettlebed, Nuffield, Park Corner and the Oxford Road area of Swinford.

The wide-ranging benefits include:

  • High quality, speedy online access when connecting several devices to the internet at the same time;

  • Playing games, streaming music and watching catch-up television without any buffering;

  • Using the internet for homework, shopping and other services more quickly and easily;

  • Being able to quickly share large files and photos via email and over the internet.

Councillor Nick Carter, Oxfordshire County Council's cabinet member for Local Government, Business, ICT & Customer Services said: “We are delighted to have been able to bring a little Christmas cheer to this appropriately named hamlet in rural south Oxfordshire, and look forward to extending this during 2017.”

Around 70,000 households and businesses across Oxfordshire are now able to get superfast fibre broadband as a result of the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire (BBfO) roll-out. Across the county as a whole, more than 274,000 premises now have access to faster fibre broadband when the BBfO programme is combined with the private sector’s commercial roll-out of the technology.

Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for broadband partnerships, said: “This is a great time of year to get high-speed broadband. At this busy time, we rely on the internet more than ever to get things done. Whether it’s working from home, running a business, doing homework or internet shopping – everything is easier and faster with fibre broadband.”

The pace of the roll-out has been welcomed by Peter Richardson, of local community group Connect8, who has been campaigning for better broadband in the South Chilterns area.  He said: “The arrival of superfast fibre broadband in Christmas Common is a breakthrough milestone in the long-running drive to bring a good broadband service to South Oxfordshire, with neighbouring areas following during 2017.”

Residents and businesses choosing to upgrade will be able to get download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (80Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps*. Because the Openreach network is ‘open,’ local people can choose from a wide range of fibre broadband providers.

People can follow the progress of the roll-out via the project website: http://www.betterbroadbandoxfordshire.org.uk

Notes to Editors

* 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 comprised £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.

For further details to go: http://www.betterbroadbandoxfordshire.org.uk/