More communities to be connected to superfast broadband

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Superfast fibre broadband is on its way to Alcester, Great Alne, Henley, Kineton, Moreton Morrell, Studley and Tysoe as part of a £10million roll-out of the technology in Warwickshire.

Hundreds of households and businesses will now have access to faster broadband thanks to the CSW Broadband roll-out lead by Warwickshire County council and BT.

Connecting these areas to superfast broadband has been a challenging job and has involved hundreds of meters of new fibre optic cable being laid and a new cabinet being installed in each area.

Councillor Alan Cockburn, cabinet portfolio holder for finance & property at Warwickshire County Council, said: “We always said that this project was about bringing superfast broadband to the hardest to reach areas, and that is very evident in this latest Wave. Out of 49 structures that are due for upgrade, only eight are straightforward cabinet upgrades. The remaining 41 structures are lines connected directly back to the exchange and where there is no cabinet. This means that additional work is necessary to re-arrange the copper connections as well as bringing a fibre connection, and this will take time.

“Because of the different ways communities and individual properties are connected to the main communications network – especially those on ‘exchange only’ lines – often the CSW Broadband project team is not able to let people know when they are able to access fibre broadband until after the upgrade work has been completed, and they are able to order an upgrade. One thing is for sure though, a lot of people who would never have got faster broadband will see a real uplift through this work.”

Colin Bannon, BT’s regional director for the West Midlands, added: “We’ve already started work on this phase of the project and if everything goes to plan we aim to finish this part of the roll-out in the next six months. Rolling out fibre broadband to some parts of rural Warwickshire can be more complex because of the additional infrastructure and equipment needed. Once an area has gone ‘live’, local households and businesses who opt for an upgrade will notice a much more reliable, faster connection.

“Whether it’s people working from home or running a business, sharing large files over email is much faster and easier with fibre broadband. Families who use the internet for shopping, research, streaming videos, catch-up TV or uploading photos, can do all those things more quickly over fibre without buffering.”

Cllr Philip Johnson, chair of communities overview and scrutiny Committee, said: “In order to reach the more challenging areas different technologies are being used. It really is important that people register their interest in fibre broadband with CSW Broadband so that they can be updated on the progress of the rollout in their area. It’s easy to register for updates at www.cswbroadband.org.uk/register.”

Upgrading to fibre broadband does not happen automatically. It’s an ‘opt in’ service. Because the network is being installed by Openreach, it is ‘open’ so residents and businesses wanting to upgrade have a wide choice of fibre broadband service providers.

More information is available from the CSW Broadband website – www.cswbroadband.org.uk – and viaTwitter and Facebook.