Connecting Cheshire has now reached the halfway point in its roll-out – with more than 40,000 additional homes and businesses now able to upgrade to fibre broadband.
Communities across Cheshire are now benefiting from speeds up to 10 times faster and residents and businesses are being urged to sign up to the new network with internet providers.
In Cheshire West, 19,000 premises are now able to access fibre. Newly-connected communities include Burton, Kelsall, Kingsley, Guilden Sutton, Sandiway and Weaverham.
The fibre networks have been built by Openreach, BT’s network provider, on behalf of the Connecting Cheshire Partnership of the four councils – Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Halton and Warrington – and BT, with additional funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and the European Union.
BT Openreach engineers have installed more than 200 new roadside cabinets and laid about 400 kilometres of fibre optic cable to date.
Councillor Lynda Jones, executive member for growth and innovation, said: “I am delighted that so many West Cheshire communities – many of them rural – are now benefiting from superfast fibre broadband, with more to follow very soon.
“The Connecting Cheshire project is well on its way to reaching 96% of premises and bringing a much-needed advantage to the county, both for businesses and home users.
“It is simple to upgrade to superfast broadband. Simply check the website for the availability in your area and shop around for the best deal to take advantage of the real benefits.”
Mike Blackburn, BT’s regional director for the North West, said: “Cheshire businesses and homes are half way there and it’s due, in large part, to the efforts of the Openreach engineers who have worked flat out to make the network available to so many in such a short time.
“There is still the other half to complete but soon this vital technology will have connected communities’ right across Cheshire.”
The £28.5m Connecting Cheshire project will provide fibre broadband to more than 80,000 homes and businesses.
This builds on BT’s commercial investment so that 96% of Cheshire – about 400,000 premises – will have access to speeds of up to 80mbps by the end of 2015.
To check availability visit the Connecting Cheshire website at www.connectingcheshire.org.uk and enter either a postcode or telephone number.