The Superfast Worcestershire broadband partnership has announced a major £3.7 million expansion that will enable around 3,000 more households and businesses in some of the county’s smallest communities to get superfast broadband for the first time.
Additional communities across all six districts in Worcestershire have been earmarked for upgrades as part of the multi-million pound roll-out, lead partners Worcestershire County Council and BT have announced.
They include parts of Wickhamford, Throckmorton, Wick, Heightington, Teme Valley including Eardiston and Stockton on Teme, Holt Fleet, Shelsley Beauchamp and Berrow Green.
The upgrade work will begin in 2017 and take approximately 18 months to complete.
It is being funded by a combination of efficiencies, new investment from BT, as well as some reinvestment of earlier funding under the terms of a ‘Gainshare’ mechanism in the contract, triggered by strong take up of fibre broadband. Nearly 40 per cent of county households and premises able to upgrade to the new technology have already chosen to do so.
The wide-ranging benefits of fibre broadband 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.
Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Matt Hancock, said: “Nine out of ten homes and businesses in the UK can now get superfast broadband, and we are reaching thousands more every week. I’m delighted that the high take-up rate in Worcestershire means that there is now extra funding that will help us reach another 3,000 more properties across the county.”
A map indicating the new areas expected to benefit will be added to the Superfast Worcestershire website. The postcode checker on the website, which people can use to find out if their postcode is included in the roll-out, will be updated in the coming weeks.