Hundreds of households and businesses in historic Ironbridge will be able to connect to faster fibre broadband earlier than expected, thanks to the £5.6 million Superfast Telford partnership.
Lead partners Telford & Wrekin Council and BT today confirmed around 500 properties in the area will get access to the technology from the Summer, as part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, with many more able to benefit in the months that follow.
It is hoped the arrival of the new technology at the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution around nine months early will be a huge boost for tourism and the local community.
Councillor Shaun Davies, cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “Making superfast fibre broadband available to around 950 households and businesses in Ironbridge has always been a key aim of the partnership.
“Close collaboration with other important projects going on in this sensitive area of the borough, including the upgrading of The Wharfage and Tontine Hill, has enabled us to complete the necessary planning and survey work much earlier than planned and accelerate this part of the Superfast Telford rollout.”
Colin Bannon, BT’s regional director for the West Midlands, said: “Our project teams are working extremely hard to ensure the majority of the engineering work is completed as quickly as possible so many people wanting to order an upgrade can start enjoying the benefits before the main holiday season gets in full swing.
“We also wanted to minimise disruption and maximise opportunities for local businesses, households and visitors at this busy time of the year.”
Superfast Telford began connecting the first homes and businesses just before Christmas. The roll-out has continued at a pace with 1,200 properties now able to access faster fibre broadband.
By the end of 2017, this figure will rise to around 9,300 households and businesses, with 8,800 of them able to access ‘superfast’ download speeds of 24 megabits (Mbps) and above.
When combined with the private sector’s commercial investment, it means 98 per cent of homes and businesses in the borough will be able to access high-speed fibre broadband by the end of next year.
Local households opting for an upgrade will be able to order fibre broadband with download speeds of up to 80Mbps and uploads of up to 20Mbps*.
The network being installed by Openreach – BT’s local network business – will enable people to choose from a wide range of broadband service providers.
All the latest information on the programme can be found on the partnership’s website – www.superfast-telford.co.uk – including a map searchable by postcode.