More than 80,000 households and businesses are now able to get faster fibre broadband thanks to Superfast Staffordshire, lead partners Staffordshire County Council and BT announced today.
90% of Staffordshire homes & businesses can access superfast broadband
11th February 2016
This takes the percentage of premises across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent able to connect to superfast fibre broadband to 90 per cent as a result of the Superfast Staffordshire roll-out and private sector investments.
Bonehill, Burslem, Crackley, Eccleshall, Fradley, Great Chatwell, Longnor, Norton Canes, Stanton and Wombourne are among the latest communities to benefit from the Superfast Staffordshire programme.
Digital Economy Minister, Ed Vaizey, said: "This milestone is fantastic news for the 80,000 additional homes and businesses across Staffordshire who can now enjoy all the benefits superfast broadband has to offer. Nationally, we've reached almost four million extra premises, and we're on track to reach 95 per cent of the country by 2017."
Richard Clarke, who lives in Moreton, one of the villages to benefit recently from Superfast Staffordshire, has seen his broadband download speeds rocket to more than 70 megabits per second - from around 2Mbps - and upload speeds increase to around 19Mbps, since upgrading to fibre.
He said: "From a business perspective we can now host our own email, update our operating systems and programmes in a time frame that does not keep the computers and the internet connection tied up for hours at a time. For example, our payroll update before superfast broadband took more than three hours - now it takes less than 20 minutes. On a personal basis, reading the newspapers and watching related videos is so fast that it means I can do other things in the afternoon. BBCiPlayer and Netflix both stream programmes seamlessly and Skype works well."
County Councillor Mark Winnington said: "Hitting the 80,000 property mark is a significant milestone for the Superfast Staffordshire project as it means we're well on the way to our target. When completed, 95 per cent of Staffordshire properties, around 476,000, will be able to connect either through our scheme or commercial roll-out.
"This is making a real difference to people and businesses across the county, boosting opportunities for all. Thousands of people have got themselves connected to superfast fibre broadband and we'd urge everyone to consider doing the same - they just need to ask their internet provider in the first instance."
Bill Murphy, BT's managing director of next generation access, said: "Rolling out fibre broadband is a major engineering programme, but our project teams are working extremely hard to ensure as many households and businesses have access to this new technology, as quickly as possible, even in some of the most difficult to reach areas of the county.
"Every day we're seeing how fibre broadband is opening up new opportunities, for local firms and residents alike, and improving the way people work, communicate, learn and spend their spare time, because everything you do online is easy and faster with fibre broadband."
People can follow the progress of the roll-out via the Superfast Staffordshire website: www.superfaststaffordshire.co.uk and via Twitter @superfaststaffs and on Facebook.
Once an area has 'gone live', local people will be able to get download speeds of up to 80 megabits (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps*. Upgrades do not happen automatically - it's an 'opt in' service, but because the Openreach network is 'open', residents and businesses have a choice of fibre broadband providers, with more than 140 companies now operating in the UK.