Karen Lumley MP today (June 30) joined representatives from Superfast Worcestershire, the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and local businesses to celebrate the increase in availability of fibre broadband for Worcestershire’s businesses and to toast the launch of a new sticker campaign to raise awareness of the availability of free Wi-Fi across the county.
The sticker scheme is part of the programme’s continuing support for the growth and development of Worcestershire businesses. Around 86 per cent of Worcestershire businesses can now benefit from fibre as a result of the roll-out by the Superfast Worcestershire programme and commercial roll-out by the private sector.
The new eye-catching stickers can be used by pubs, cafes and other businesses to highlight where free Wi-fi is available.
The partnership between Worcestershire County Council, BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme is boosting Worcestershire businesses by enabling more firms to offer their customers free, fast and reliable Wi-Fi as a result of the roll-out of the technology.
The Nevill Arms pub in Redditch, which recently upgraded to fibre broadband, is one local business backing the new initiative.
Andy Heeley, pub owner, said: “When superfast broadband arrived in Astwood Bank I contacted my Internet Service Provider straightaway to upgrade. Now, with improved speeds, we can offer free Wi-Fi to our customers who can browse the web at their leisure, whether that’s on a phone, tablet or laptop. Everything is online these days so it’s really important to me and the business that people can look online whilst they are here. The new Wi-Fi stickers are a great way to showcase the service.”
Karen Lumley, MP for Redditch, said: “High-speed fibre broadband brings many benefits to local businesses. As the roll-out progresses even more companies are able to benefit from the technology and should then be able to offer free Wi-Fi to their customers.
“It is important that we continue to focus on stimulating demand for the service and ensuring businesses are aware they need to ‘sign-up’ when fibre reaches their area in order to benefit from improved speeds.”
Councillor Ken Pollock, Worcestershire County Council Cabinet Member Responsible for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure said: “High-speed broadband is an essential tool for any modern business. As the vast majority of Worcestershire businesses can now benefit from superfast speeds as a result of the programme, the new stickers will serve to support their growth and development by raising awareness of the availability of free Wi-Fi to their customers.”
Ian Binks, BT’s regional manager for Worcestershire and the West Midlands said: “Superfast Worcestershire is a multi-million pound engineering programme which is progressing extremely well. When combined with BT’s commercial roll-out, more than 238,000 premises across Worcestershire are now able to access faster fibre broadband.
“It’s important that people know about the widespread availability of high-speed fibre broadband across Worcestershire and the benefits it brings – especially to businesses. We all expect to be able to access the internet when we are out and about and free Wi-Fi is a great way for businesses to differentiate themselves and offer a better service to their customers.”
The new campaign has been welcomed by Worcestershire LEP, who have contributed additional funding for the Superfast Worcestershire roll-out through the Government’s Growth Deal.
Mark Martin, Owner and Director of One Creative Environments Ltd and Chair of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Business Board, said: “I would urge local businesses to visit the Superfast Worcestershire website at the earliest opportunity to find out how to upgrade to faster internet speeds.
“These free Wi-Fi stickers are a great way for businesses to highlight the availability of this technology at their venues which could be a real selling point for their customers.”
Superfast Worcestershire began connecting the first premises to fibre broadband around two years ago enabling more than 55,000 homes and businesses to access the new technology as a result of the partnership – already one in three households and businesses have signed up for the faster services.
People can follow the progress of the Superfast Worcestershire roll-out via: www.superfastworcestershire.com.
It’s an ‘opt in’ service, but because the network is being installed by BT’s local network business, Openreach, it is ‘open’, so residents and businesses wanting to upgrade have a wide choice of fibre broadband service providers, with more than 140 now operating in the UK. Local people choosing to upgrade will be able to get download speeds of up to 80 megabits (Mbps) and uploads of up to 20Mbps*.
For a free Wi-Fi sticker for your business, contact email@example.com.