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New lease of life for Notts community hall and it's all thanks to fibre broadband

Press release   •   Sep 15, 2016 14:05 BST

Representatives from BT and Nottinghamshire County Council join villagers to celebrate

High speed fibre broadband is being put at the heart of community life in a picturesque Nottinghamshire village.

Around 160 homes and businesses in Edingley, between Mansfield and Newark, can now access fibre broadband for the first time, thanks to the county council’s multi-million pound Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire (BBfN) partnership with BT.

The village is the 400th community in Nottinghamshire to benefit from the arrival of fibre broadband, and Edingley Parish Council plans to make the most of it by kitting out the former village school building – now a community hall – with computers and free wi-fi.

Councillor Diana Poole, Chairman of Edingley Parish Council, said: “I’m delighted that people and businesses in Edingley have now got access to fibre broadband – I know it will make a big difference to local people who need to do things like work from home, buy and sell items online or stay in touch with friends and relatives.

“We’ve recently re-opened the old school house in the village as a community resource, where we host events and functions. The availability of fibre broadband will mean we can provide wi-fi for users of the centre and put on more events like computer training so that it continues to develop as a real hub for the local community.”

Fibre broadband is currently available to 96 per cent of homes and businesses in Nottinghamshire. The current BBfN rollout will take coverage in the county to 98 per cent by spring 2018 – maintaining Nottinghamshire's position as one of the best connected counties in the country.

BBfN is one of the biggest civil engineering projects ever to be undertaken in Nottinghamshire and will see £29m invested in upgrading the county’s telecommunications infrastructure.

Councillor Diana Meale, Chair of the Economic Development Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said; “It’s fantastic to see villages like Edingley making the most of the opportunities that broadband provides and great that the community as a whole will see a benefit through the development of the old school house, as well as many homes and businesses.

“Access to good quality broadband is just as important as access to basic utilities for many residents and businesses today, making BBfN a vital investment in Nottinghamshire’s infrastructure and future economic prospects.

“Phase two of BBfN is being targeted at those districts with more rural areas where, despite making large strides in improving coverage, more investment is needed to bring them up to the level of coverage enjoyed in the rest of the county. In many cases, people and businesses living in those towns and villages have been unable to access the online services, learning, communication and opportunities that many of us now take for granted – but not for much longer.”

Paul Bimson, BT’s regional partnership director for the East Midlands, said: “Fibre broadband is set to make a big difference in Edingley and the parish council already has some exciting plans. Across Nottinghamshire, tens of thousands of homes and businesses – more than ever before - now have access to faster download speeds. And there’s more to come, our partnership with the county council is set to reach even more rural areas in the coming months.”

BBfN is only being rolled-out in areas which are not served by the private sector’s commercial roll-out of the high speed technology – often giving homes and business access to fibre broadband, with download speeds of up to 80Mbps, for the first time.

Residents and businesses can find out more about the benefits of fibre broadband and check if their property falls within the BBfN roll out areas at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/broadband

Businesses and residents need to make arrangements with an internet service provider to get faster fibre services once they are available in their area as the upgrade doesn’t happen automatically. And because the work is being carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business, residents can choose from a wide range of service providers.

Benefits of fibre broadband include faster download and upload speeds; the ability to access the internet via multiple devices without experiencing a slow connection, faster downloads of films and music, a better online gaming experience, improved file sharing for businesses, solutions based on Cloud computing and being able to work more flexibly.