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Superfast Lancashire announces next 15 communities to benefit from roll-out of high-speed fibre broadband

Press release   •   Mar 31, 2014 00:00 BST

Lancashire County Council and BT today announced the next 15 communities 

to benefit from the £130 million Superfast Lancashire programme.

During April, May and June high-speed fibre broadband will start to become
available in: Belmont village near Blackburn; Eccleston, Croston, and Mawdesley in
Chorley district; White Hills Business Park in Fylde; Barnoldswick in Pendle;
Bolton by Bowland, West Bradford and Ribchester in Ribble Valley; Shawforth and
Whitworth in Rossendale; and Knott End, Hambleton, St Michaels and Preesall in
Wyre.

After planning and surveying work, engineers from Openreach –
BT’s local network business – are now putting in the fibre optic cable and new
roadside cabinets that are needed for people to access the new network.

At the same time, the partnership will build on the private sector’s commercial
roll-out of fibre broadband to extend coverage in parts of Accrington, Burnley and
Blackpool.

When this latest phase is completed, an additional 28,000 homes and
businesses will be able to access high-speed fibre broadband.

Superfast Lancashire also today confirmed that it had already just extended
fibre broadband coverage in parts of the North Shore area of Blackpool, Hest
Bank, Freckleton, Blackburn and Carnforth.

Updates on the roll-out of Superfast Lancashire and other useful information
are available on the programme’s website – www.superfastlancashire.com
County Councillor Sean Serridge, Champion for Digital Inclusion at
Lancashire County Council, said: “This is a great achievement and shows we are
well on the way to achieving our goal of providing 97 per cent of the county with
high-speed broadband by the end of next year.

“Faster fibre broadband is hugely important for the county both economically
and socially. There can be few areas of modern life which are not touched in some
way by broadband connectivity – whether it’s supporting how we work, how we learn,
how we communicate with friends and family, or how we entertain ourselves.”

Steve Edwards, BT’s director for next generation access for the north of the
UK, said: “Superfast Lancashire is a huge engineering project but the roll-out is
progressing extremely well.

“Around 480,000 homes and businesses across Lancashire are now able to
access high-speed fibre broadband. Many people across the county are already
doing precisely that, and immediately noticing the difference.

“Faster fibre broadband transforms the way we do things online, enabling
everyone to do everything better and faster. Whether it’s a business or homeworker
wanting to share large files with a supplier or customer, or a family where everyone
needs to be connected to the internet at the same time on different devices – high-
speed fibre broadband makes this all possible.”

Once an area has been enabled residents and businesses can get
download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to
20Mbps .

The Openreach network is open to all internet service providers on an equal
wholesale basis, so local people can choose from a wide range of suppliers and benefit from competitive products and pricing.
Superfast Lancashire is a partnership between Lancashire County Council
and BT, with additional funding from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK, as
well as the European Regional Development Fund, Blackburn with Darwen Council
and Blackpool Council. Combined with the private sector’s commercial roll-out of
fibre broadband, the partnership will make the high-speed technology available to
97 per cent of the county’s homes and businesses by the end of next year.

In addition to the roll-out of high-speed broadband across the county, a
Business Support Centre has opened as part of Superfast Lancashire. It is run by
a team of specialists to advise small and medium-sized businesses across the
county how to use the new technology to enhance their business. More information
is available from: www.superfastlancashire.com

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Notes to Editors
Superfast Lancashire’s Business Support Programme is governed by eligibility criteria defined by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) based on size, primary activity, turnover etc. Businesses will be expected to complete an initial short self-certification form which will be validated by one of the advisors.
The programme will link with other key support initiatives across Lancashire. This will enable businesses to gain from the extended benefits of complementary programmes such as Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, subject to not having exceeded their ERDF allowance.
The Business Support Programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in partnership with Superfast Lancashire.
BT is contributing £30 million to the project whilst £10.8 million will come from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), £16.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund and £5.2 million from local councils (£4.7m from LCC, £300,000 from Blackburn with Darwen Council and £230,000 from Blackpool Council.
This project is part financed by the North West European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013.
The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit
https://www.gov.uk/erdf-programmes-and-resources#north-west

About BDUK
Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:
• £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017
• £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
• £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services
Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.
For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk