Superfast West Yorkshire has now completed the first phase of its rollout to bring fibre broadband to 97 per cent of West Yorkshire.
Since the roll-out began in January 2014 the partnership has made the new technology available to almost 65,000 homes and businesses, exceeding the 64,500 premises originally planned for the first phase. It has also completed the rollout three months early.
The news comes as the Government today announced that the nationwide rollout of superfast broadband has now reached more than three million homes and businesses.*
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “We are transforming the digital landscape of the UK and our nationwide rollout of superfast broadband has now reached an additional three million UK homes and businesses. I congratulate Superfast West Yorkshire on having reached almost 65,000 properties in West Yorkshire so far and on making incredible progress.”
The multi-million pound Superfast West Yorkshire project was set-up to expand on BT’s commercial rollout of fibre broadband with the aim of providing high-speed, fibre broadband to 97 per cent of West Yorkshire by September 2015, which it has successfully done.
The project is funded by four local West Yorkshire authorities (Bradford, Leeds, Calderdale and Wakefield), BDUK and BT. Since the start of the project, Openreach engineers delivering the infrastructure have successfully laid 321km of cable and installed 393 new fibre broadband street cabinets.
A second phase of the project has recently been agreed, which will enable a further 28,000 premises to access the new technology by the end of 2018. Further details about the programme will be announced in the next few months as more detailed plans are finalised.
Ian Gray, chair of the Superfast West Yorkshire project board said: “It is great to have passed the finish line on this first phase of the project, and to have delivered above target, reaching almost 65,000 homes and businesses.
“The programme has achieved its target ahead of our final contract date, which puts us in a good position when moving on to look at the infrastructure for the second phase of the roll-out.
“Delivering superfast broadband to more parts of West Yorkshire and York is essential to equip our businesses and residents with the necessary technology of everyday life.”
Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for next generation access, said: “Getting this network in the ground is an achievement in itself, but the true measure of success will come when people in communities across the region place orders and reap the benefits of faster connectivity.
“Then we will really see how successful the West Yorkshire community can be when they fully exploit the benefits this technology can bring to home life, work life and the local economy.”
The arrival of faster broadband brings many benefits to an area. Fibre broadband at home means everyone in the family can do their own thing online, all at the same time, whether it’s downloading music in minutes or watching catch-up TV; streaming HD movies in a few minutes; or posting photos and videos to social networking sites in seconds.
“Other benefits include online learning which will open new doors and expand horizons for thousands of people in West Yorkshire and people with disabilities or caring responsibilities, who would find it hard to travel to work, may now be able to work effectively from home.”
Superfast Broadband also has the potential to significantly improve business performance. It can lead to the development of new business models, provide access to new markets, improve customer relationships and operational savings, or give an organisation a unique selling point (USP) that leads to a competitive advantage over others in the market place
In order to take advantage of the higher speeds now available, residents and businesses should contact their broadband service provider or visit www.get-fibre.co.uk to see if they are included in the project area.