Thousands more premises to get superfast in the South East
Tuesday 18th April, 2017
BT is working with hundreds of hard-to-reach communities across the country to help them get superfast broadband. In the south-east of England more than 80 communities have signed up for a Community Fibre Partnership with BT. This will see around 12,000 premises benefit from faster internet.
The communities, which range from hamlets and small villages through to business parks, are all part of the so-called ‘final five per cent’ of the UK not covered by fibre broadband rollout plans. Through its Community Fibre Partnerships (CFP) programme, BT has made a commitment to help communities like these to find a fibre solution and is helping them to develop localised plans to make the delivery of affordable fibre a reality.
For example, some communities have applied for a schools grant to help them get fibre-enabled.
Schools grant of up to £20,000
The grant has been made possible thanks to a £2 million fund created by BT. It means communities can apply for a match-funded grant of up to £20,000 toward the cost of their new fibre infrastructure - as long as that new infrastructure also serves the local school which also doesn’t have a superfast connection.
Currently, around 10 communities in the south-east will benefit from the grant. Their new fibre infrastructure will also serve their local school giving a boost to learning and education.
Villages as far and wide as Kingham in Oxfordshire and Wormley in Surrey are set to get superfast broadband as a result of having a Community Fibre Partnership with BT. They’ll now get superfast fibre to their local school as well as to the community.
These communities include Bledlow Ridge, near Prince’s Risborough in the Chiltern Hills, which has Bledlow Ridge School in the heart of its village, and the village of Datchworth near Knebworth, location of All Saints Primary School.
If a school in your community doesn’t have fibre then you could be eligible for a grant. Find out more.
Help from the government
Many villages with broadband speeds of less than 2Mbps from across the south-east, got themselves organised and applied for a subsidy through the government’s Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme scheme. Communities such as Tunworth near Basingstoke in Hampshire, Itchingfield in West Sussex and the Kings Copse community near Hemel Hempstead are all set to receive funding from this scheme to help pay for their fibre broadband.
Kings Copse resident Tom Brand, who led a local campaign for an upgrade, said: “Broadband speeds are more important now than ever before. Improving our internet speed is going to mean a massive improvement on our quality of life.”
New builds can benefit too
New builds are springing up all over the south-east. A number of these didn’t exist when fibre rollout plans were being made, or were built after fibre installation in their area was completed so BT is working closely with developers across the south-east to bring fast broadband to their sites.
For example, superfast broadband is coming to a housing development at Orangery and Parklands, Earley, near Reading, following a partnership between Openreach and housing developer CALA Homes. This will make high-speed fibre broadband available to around 260 homes.
Other brand new developments in the south-east set to go superfast include Gaugemaster Way Trading Estate in Ford, Arundel - West Sussex, Redrow Homes’ Lymington Shores development in Hampshire, and Beaurepaire Park, near Bramley, also in Hampshire.
If you live in a part of the south-east that’s not included in any fibre broadband rollout plans then your next step should be to check out BT’s Community Fibre Partnership programme.