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Community scheme brings high-speed broadband to community in Pendlebury

Press Release   •  Jun 13, 2017 11:55 BST

A partnership between local residents and BT will make high-speed fibre broadband available to around 90 homes in Pendlebury, Greater Manchester by Spring next year.Speeds of up to 80Mbps will be available for the first time to people living in Bolbury Crescent and surrounding streets from a wide range of broadband service providers.

The scheme is the latest of around 15 communities that BT is working with in Greater Manchester to help deliver fibre broadband, including Armitage Church of England Primary School in Ardwick and the Byron Bank housing estate in Cheetham Hill.

Openreach,the local network business which is part of BT Group, will install new fibre optic cabling and a green road-side cabinet equipped with the latest Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology as part of the project and the partnership is benefitting from funding through the Government’s Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme.

The residents of Pendlebury were awarded £350 per eligible household towards the new network under the Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme, which allows homes and businesses with internet speeds of less than 2Mbps, who are not included in any current broadband upgrade programmes, to get funding for faster speeds using any technology.

As a result, the entire cost of bringing fibre broadband technology to residents in the community has been covered by the Government scheme and Openreach’s investment.

Maxine Clark, who led the local community group to campaign for faster broadband, said: “BT approached us proactively to help find a way to upgrade our slow broadband and I’m very pleased that we have been able to work together with the community to come up with a solution to vastly improve on our current poor broadband speeds.

“Broadband is now essential to our daily lives. Being able to go from broadband speeds of less than 2Mbps to having access to high-speed fibre broadband will enable myself and our community to get access to everything the internet has to offer.”

Kieran Charleson, BT’s regional director for the North West, said: “We have been working closely with the people of Bolbury Crescent to agree this funding solution to bring superfast fibre to the local community and it’s great news that the contract has now been signed and the service will be up and running by Spring 2018. We’re keen to have conversations with other communities who might be able to benefit from this approach.”

Kim Mears, Openreach’s managing director for infrastructure delivery, said: “It’s great to be able to work with communities like Bolbury Crescent in Pendlebury to find a broadband solution. Partnerships like this help us to bring high-speed connections to challenging areas that broadband providers struggle to upgrade alone.

“More than 92 per cent of the UK can access superfast speeds today, and we’re committed to making fibre broadband as widely available as possible. That’s why we’re investing in hundreds of similar projects across the UK, with more than 280 contracts signed to date, working in partnership with business and residential communities to deliver faster speeds from a wide choice of competing service providers.

The Openreach network offers wholesale fibre broadband access to all Communications Providers under the same prices, terms and conditions, so local households and businesses have a choice of many competing services from more than a hundred different providers.

For more information on community fibre partnerships with BT, visit www.communityfibre.bt.com

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Notes to editors

About Openreach

Openreach is the UK’s leading digital infrastructure provider.

Its 32,000 employees are responsible for building and maintaining millions of miles of fibre and copper cables that connect every home and business in the UK to local telephone exchanges. Openreach operates and maintains this network to deliver a range of wholesale services for more than 580 retail providers, who in-turn provide telephony, broadband, TV and data services to more than 30 million consumer and business customers throughout the country.

Openreach is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of its revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom. Any company can access its products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions.

Over the last decade, Openreach has invested more than £10bn into its network and is currently building the UK’s largest fibre broadband footprint. This technology is available to more than 26 million homes and businesses, with tens of thousands more gaining access each week.

Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group. For the year ended 31 March 2017, it reported revenues of £5.1bn.

For more information, visit openreach.co.uk

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services.BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2017, BT Group’s reported revenue was £24,062m with reported profit before taxation of £2,354m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com