More than 50,000 homes and businesses can now access superfast fibre broadband speeds above 24Mbps - thanks to the Superfast Northamptonshire project.
This milestone marks a significant achievement within the first stage of the ambitious project, led by Northamptonshire County Council in partnership with BT.
The news comes as phase one of Superfast Northamptonshire looks set to be completed ahead of schedule whilst a phase two deal between the county council and BT is being brought forward by nine months to start later this year.
The latest areas to benefit are Cottingham, Gretton, Hartwell, Middleton, Nassington, Rushton, Warmington, Eaglethorpe and Wilbarston.
The announcement comes on the same day as the Government announced the nationwide rollout of superfast broadband has now passed more than three million UK homes and businesses. The rollout is on track to reach 95 per cent of the UK by 2017 and is now reaching around 5,000 additional premises every day.
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 Northamptonshire County Council on having reached more than 50,000 properties in the county so far - they’re making incredible progress."
Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, county council cabinet member for economic growth and strategic infrastructure, said: “Since the first cabinet was set up in February last year, engineers have been working very hard in laying down the infrastructure for superfast broadband.
“Without the multi-million pound public and private sector investment in this project, people living and working in these areas would not have access to superfast broadband services – leaving great chunks of the county behind.
“This is delivering real benefits. Clearly there are the economic advantages to these areas but these links enabled by superfast broadband are also increasingly important when it comes to providing services and forging links between communities.”
Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for next generation access, said: “Today marks important milestones, both locally and nationally, for the superfast broadband revolution. This exciting technology is transforming the opportunities for communities across Northamptonshire and the UK as a whole. Engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, are rolling out the technology at a world class pace, reaching more premises every week.”
So far, more than 230 green roadside fibre cabinets have been installed, connected and switched on and more than 420km of optical fibre cable has been rolled out – almost enough to stretch from Northampton to Dublin.
The county council’s partnership with BT will see over 73,850 premises benefit from access to superfast broadband by the end of 2017.
Find out more
To access the benefits of superfast broadband, residents and businesses should contact their internet service provider and enquire about an upgrade - it will not happen automatically.
When this major fibre roll out is complete, about 95 per cent of premises in the county will be able to take up superfast broadband services when the private sector’s commercial rollout is also included. The benefits to families and businesses will be transformational. The county council’s target is to see full coverage by the end of 2017.
For more information about the project, including the ability to see when services may be rolled out in your area please visit our ‘When and Where’ interactive map and Roll Out page at: www.superfastnorthamptonshire.net.