Monday, 17 August 2015 10:27

Rural county 'leading on broadband'

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural county 'leading on broadband'

Rutland is leading the way for fibre broadband, with a higher take-up rate than any other county.

Latest figures from the Digital Rutland partnership reveal fibre broadband is already being used by more than four out of ten households and businesses across the county.

The 43% Rutland take-up figure is higher than any other county in the country and the number is continuing to grow, said Bill Murphy, BT managing director of next generation access.

"Digital Rutland is a major success story and a shining example of how the public and private sectors can work together to achieve just about anything," he said.

"The council was one of the very first to recognise the opportunity that fibre broadband provides and has been an enthusiastic, determined, and committed partner.

"The end result of this hard work is the best take-up rates for fibre broadband anywhere in the country. For that, Rutland should be very proud."

Rutland County Council deputy leader Terry King said he was delighted the local community had backed the local authority's broadband project with such passion and enthusiasm.

"Faster broadband was something we knew was important for Rutland.

"Thousands of homes and businesses have seen their online fortunes transformed and the good news is there's more to come."

A second phase of work between Rutland County Council and BT, worth £1.1 million and extending coverage to a further 900 homes and businesses, has also been announced.

The new agreement, which includes some of the more hard-to-reach area, builds on the initial Digital Rutland contract signed in 2012 and completed earlier this year.

Implementation is expected to get underway in April 2016 and when completed, more than 94.6% of properties in Rutland will have access to fibre broadband.

Rutland County Council and BT are also exploring solutions for the remaining properties with the aim of ensuring that all Rutland homes and businesses can access speeds of at least 2Mbps.

Since the Digital Rutland project was launched three years ago, all ten telephone exchanges in the county have been upgraded to fibre and 47 new green roadside fibre cabinets installed.

In four Rutland telephone exchanges, more than half of all households and businesses served have upgraded to fibre. Across the East Midlands, six Rutland exchanges are amongst the top ten for fibre broadband take-up.

The end result is that more than 5,000 homes and businesses across the county are now using fibre broadband.

Digital Rutland is a multi-million pound partnership between Rutland County Council, BT and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).

For more details, visit www.rutland.gov.uk/digitalrutland.

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