Dudley youngsters are under starter’s orders to welcome gold medal athlete, Jonnie Peacock, after winning a national competition organised by BT.
The Paralympic sprinting legend, who is also a BT Ambassador, will be visiting Kates Hill Primary School on Monday, March 13.
The school scooped the top prize as part of a major BT scheme to highlight the benefits of superfast broadband and to provide help for communities that are not yet able to access it.
Kevin Orchard, the school’s year six teacher, said: “All the staff and pupils are really excited about winning this competition and can’t wait to welcome a sporting hero like Jonnie to the school. The timing couldn’t be better as it coincides with National Science and Technology Week.
“We are part of the council-run Dudley Grid for Learning. The internet has increasingly become a vital tool in the classroom and at home as it opens up new opportunities for learning, homework and hobbies.”
Their entry was randomly selected from hundreds submitted by schools across the country.
The competition, held to highlight the work of BT’s Community Fibre Partnerships (CFP) scheme, was open to all schools in England and Wales.
The CFP scheme has a £2 million fund for distributing grants to community fibre superfast broadband partnerships in areas not yet earmarked for a fibre upgrade as part of any public or private sector roll-outs.
Eligible communities can apply for match funding of up to £20,000 towards the cost of a new local superfast network, as long as the technology is capable of serving the local school.
Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for next generation access, said: “Congratulations go to Kates Hill Primary School. We hope they have a great morning with Jonnie Peacock.
“High-speed fibre broadband takes learning one step further, bringing it to life at school and in the home. We would encourage any schools with less than 24 megabits per second (Mbps) internet speeds to get in touch to see if they are in any high-speed fibre broadband plans. If they’re not, our Community Fibre Partnerships team can help them look at options available.”
More than 200 communities across the country have so far signed up to a co-funded Community Fibre Partnership, delivered by Openreach – BT’s local network business – with many already enjoying the benefits of superfast broadband.
The availability of these new grants will encourage even more communities to work with Openreach to bring high-speed connectivity to their community, town or village.
Any communities interested in making an application should register their interest online at: http://www.communityfibre.bt.com/
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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 560 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 2016, it reported revenues of £5.1bn.
For more information, visitopenreach.co.uk