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Local school, homes and businesses set to get high-speed broadband in Norney and Shackleford, Surrey

Local infant school, St Mary’s C of E, is also eligible for a £6,900 grant
Local infant school, St Mary’s C of E, is also eligible for a £6,900 grant

A partnership between local residents and Openreach is to make high-speed fibre broadband available to a local school and around 40 homes and businesses in Norney and Shakleford, in Guildford, Surrey. The co-funded deal has seen investment by local residents, Openreach, Britain’s digital network business and the UK Government’s Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme, which was established to provide access to a subsidised broadband installation to homes and businesses in England and Scotland, that don’t have access to broadband speeds of at least 2Mbps. The deal is expected to see the first residents get the high-speed service in March next year. Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology will make broadband speeds of more than 24Mbps available from a wide range of broadband service providers.

As part of the community fibre partnership scheme, local infant school, St Mary’s C of E, is also eligible for a £6,900 grant. Serena Roberts, head teacher at St Mary’s C of E infant school, said: “Digital learning is an important tool to help children learn interactively and get involved first hand with digital technology. Having faster internet will help our school in the way we learn, interact online and enjoy access to more digital resources, an important consideration to help pupils in their development for the future.”

Jean Thompson, resident, said “The need for superfast broadband is paramount to support the increasing demands of the residents, its primary school, the village hall and many local businesses. Funding was raised by a combination of contributions from the village hall and each household and match funding by Openreach through their schools funding program.

Steve Haines, Managing Director of next generation access for Openreach, said: “It is great to be able to work with proactive communities like those in Norney and Shackleford to find a fibre broadband solution. We are working on hundreds of similar community fibre partnership programmes across the UK, which are bringing faster internet access to areas not covered by any private or public funded fibre broadband rollout plans. Openreach is committed to making fibre broadband as widely available as possible. More than 97 per cent of households and businesses in Guildford already have access to superfast speeds and, nationally, UK superfast broadband coverage will rise to 95 per cent by the end of 2017. More than 400 communities across the country have already signed up to Openreach’s co-funded Community Fibre Partnerships scheme with nearly 200 already enjoying the benefits of superfast broadband.”

For more information on community fibre partnerships with BT, visit www.communityfibre.bt.com

For more details on the roll-out of fibre broadband visit www.openreach.co.uk/whereandwhen