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Take-up of fibre broadband rockets

2 November 2016

The number of people signing up for high-speed fibre broadband, thanks to the work of the Superfast Northamptonshire project, has increased fourfold in the last two years.

Figures from BT, show over 40 per cent of homes and businesses have already signed up to fibre broadband – compared with less than 10 per cent in June 2014 and 23 per cent in June 2015.

Some communities, such as Orlingbury, near Wellingborough, have been particularly quick to snap up the opportunity. The village has one of the highest levels of take-up with more than 70 per cent of households now using fibre.

Head of Business Services at Velocity Growth Hub, Gayle Pope, said: "With the internet playing such a vital role in modern day business it is essential that all companies have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field when it comes to technology. The roll-out of superfast broadband will give businesses the chance to enjoy the best available speeds and help them do business as quickly and efficiently as possible. We welcome the project and look forward to seeing SMEs across Northamptonshire and beyond grow as a result, creating new jobs and benefiting the wider economy." 

More than 58,750 additional premises across the county can now use superfast fibre broadband thanks to the project, and that number is continuing to grow. Stage two is already ahead of schedule, ensuring that the project remains one of the top performing in the UK.

Some of the latest communities to benefit include Everdon, Easton Maudit, Denton, Brafield on the Green, Wollaston, Fotheringhay and parts of Kettering, Northampton and Wellingborough.

County Councillor Ian Morris, the cabinet member leading on the broadband project, said: “I am delighted that take up of superfast services in the county is growing strongly – already this year, we were ranked in the top four out of the 44 broadband projects nationally for take up. We want to get the most out of our public investment in the broadband network and therefore take up of services and making the most of the applications this opens up is critical.

“Increasingly, local businesses and residents are seeing the benefits that a superfast fibre broadband service can bring. This may be helping to boost the bottom line for business through time and money saving applications, or at home, enabling the whole family to go on-line at the same time without frustrating buffering delays.”

Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for next generation access, said: “We are delighted the rollout in Northamptonshire is proving to be so popular. The Superfast Northamptonshire team are doing a good job of making more and more people aware of the benefits of fibre broadband and how to go about signing up. With download speeds of up to 80Mbps widely available, it really does have the ability to substantially change the way people and businesses use the internet. And we’re looking forward to further work with the county council to extend fibre coverage even wider across the county.”

Engineering work for Superfast Northamptonshire is carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business. And because their network is open to all, people can choose from a wide range of broadband providers, benefitting from competitive pricing and products.

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