CONNECTING CHESHIRE has revealed the first areas that will benefit from its plans to speed up broadband in Cheshire.
More than 15,000 premises are set to benefit from the first phase of investment from the end of March 2014, with high-speed broadband coming to over thirty outlying and rural communities across Cheshire.
Acton Bridge, Barton, Central Chester, Christleton, Clutton, Davenham,Great Mollington, Guilden Sutton, Kelsall, Lach Dennis, Norley, Tarporley,Tarvin, Tattenhall, Weaverham and Wincham are all of the areas listed under Cheshire West and Chester Council that are set to benefit first.
Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT Group, was keen to emphasise the economic benefits of the scheme. He said: “Fibre will have a significant impact on the local economy. We know, for example, that small businesses form a key part of the local economy in rural areas.”
“Faster broadband breaks down the barriers to doing business in the digital world like online trading, which helps to empower those small businesses to find new markets, sell new products, try new models and compete on an equal footing with larger businesses.”
The Connecting Cheshire project was launched in April 2013, following the signing of contracts between four Cheshire councils and BT, which will see a total of £28.5m spent of fibre broadband investment in the county.
This investment plans to bring fibre broadband to 96 per cent of Cheshire, extending the network to over 80,000 premises in the process. As a part of the plans, some 400 fibre cabinets and 875 miles of fibre optic cable will be laid as BT’s engineers work to upgrade the county’s infrastructure.
As a result, 96 per cent of Cheshire premises will have access speeds of up to 80Mbps as a result of the scheme, in contrast to Cheshire’s current average speed of 16Mbps.
Local residents and businesses can check the coverage by visiting www.connectingcheshire.org.uk/check-availability to find out more.
To view the Connecting Cheshire broadband roll-out information and coverage map, visit www.connectingcheshire.org.uk and click the Check Availability tab.
Chester Intelligencer reporter, Sean Lunt
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