Superfast fibre broadband will soon be available to an extra 10,000 homes and businesses across Cheshire, Halton and Warrington – thanks to a second phase of roll-out by Connecting Cheshire.
The new cabling work, to boost the network coverage, has already started and will see more than £6m invested by summer 2017 to provide fibre broadband technology to many areas that were unable to benefit from previous roll-outs.
The phase 2 funding* has been provided by Government, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton and Warrington councils and supplemented by funding from BT. Rural areas such as Arley, Burleydam, Gawsworth, Huxley and Wincle will join the fibre fast lane for the first time as the network is extended.
Additional coverage will also be provided, building on the coverage provided during phase 1, in some remaining urban areas, while more rural and outlying areas such as Malpas, Cholmondeley, Bunbury and Mobberley are set to benefit.
For full details of the areas included, to download detailed maps and details of a public information event on November 6, visit: www.connectingcheshire.org.uk
To date, the Connecting Cheshire Partnership with BT has given more than 85,000 premises access to high-speed fibre broadband.
The majority of its phase 1 roll-out is already completed and most remaining areas are planned to be completed by December. Any remaining areas from phase 1 are expected to be included alongside in the phase 2 build programme.
The partnership is currently actively seeking further funding to include even more areas outside its current plans and to improve speeds in areas where the technology is less effective and speeds are lower.
Councillor David Brown, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This is fantastic news for residents as we will be able to reach more premises with fibre, particularly those rural areas where some of the lowest speeds remain.
“We are determined to ensure that faster broadband is available to as many premises as possible so that the social and economic benefits can be realised – not only for our businesses but for people of all ages.”
Mike Blackburn, BT regional director for the North West, said: “BT has provided a further £1.8m to boost the reach of the new roll-out of this truly transformational technology.
“And, in addition, the Openreach engineers have done a superb job, in such a short space of time, to ensure that so many more homes and businesses in Cheshire can benefit from a more connected society.”