The partnership between North and North East Lincolnshire Councils and BT has already made fibre broadband available to around 37,000 premises across the programme area. The latest £2.9 million boost comes as a result of efficiencies in the first phase of the programme and a reinvestment by BT of earlier funding due to high take-up of the fibre broadband technology by local households and businesses. More than 40 per cent of Northern Lincolnshire households and businesses able to upgrade to the new technology have already chosen to do so - a figure which is among the highest levels of take-up in the UK.
Cllr Rob Waltham, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “This further multi-million pound investment across Northern Lincolnshire will help even more people benefit from high speed broadband. We are continuing to work on supporting those properties that don’t have access to superfast broadband, particularly those in rural areas. They remain a priority for the council. The project has already been a massive success and was recognised nationally as best practice and in the top six nationally for completing the first phase the quickest. We are now on track to reach our aim of providing 99 per cent of properties across Northern Lincolnshire with access to superfast broadband. Being able to access high speed broadband has many benefits for residents and businesses, which we are encouraging them to take full advantage of.”
Locations expected to be included in the extended roll-out include Amcotts, Sandtoft, Owston Ferry, Thornton Curtis, East Butterwick, Greetwell, Coleby and Bonby. Tom Keeney, Chair of BT’s Yorkshire and Humber regional board, said: “More than 120,000 homes and businesses in Northern Lincs can now access fibre broadband thanks to the Northern Lincs Broadband and BT’s own commercial roll-out. The second phase of the Northern Lincs programme continues at pace and with an extension having been agreed we are pressing on to improve broadband speeds as widely as possible across the area.”
Derek Richardson, Openreach spokesman for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “As well as connecting up homes and businesses through the Northern Lincs Broadband programme, Openreach has an ambition to ‘never say no’ to any community that wants superfast broadband. We have launched a Community Fibre Partnerships programme where we work with a local group not covered by an existing fibre upgrade plan to find a way of bringing this exciting technology to their area. This could be the residents of a rural village or a block of flats in a town centre or even a group of business owners in an industrial park. We have already signed agreements with more than 300 communities and organisations to bring fibre broadband to some of the UK’s most challenging areas and are keen to have to have conversations with other communities who might benefit from this approach.”
To access the benefits of superfast broadband, residents and businesses should contact their internet service provider and enquire about an upgrade – as customers do not automatically get faster broadband once fibre broadband is available in an area.
For further information visit http://www.investinnorthlincolnshire.co.uk/business-support/broadband-project/