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Surfing the web set to speed up in remote Warwickshire riverside communities which are next to benefit from superfast broadband

Press release   •   Oct 10, 2017 14:12 BST

An Openreach engineer at work

Some of the oldest and smallest riverside communities in Warwickshire, which used to rely on the waterways to help them stay connected, will be among the next areas to benefit from the CSW Broadband roll-out of high-speed fibre broadband.

The next locations getting access to the technology for the first time include parts of Barton and Dunnington on the River Avon, Hunningham and Wappenbury on the River Leam, and parts of Pillerton Hersey near the River Dene, the CSW Broadband partnership announced today.

This latest phase of the CSW Broadband roll-out will also take in areas of Dorsington – which was listed in the Domesday Book - as well as the Back Lane and Shirley Lane areas of Flint’s Green, near Meriden.

Engineers from Openreach - the business responsible for Britain’s largest phone and broadband network – will begin the upgrades in the next few months, and the first households and businesses will start to go ‘live’ in the New Year.

The latest update coincides with the launch of a new online map – www.cswbroadband.org.uk/latestmap - which is designed to give local households and businesses more detail than ever before about the CSW Broadband roll-out.

It includes new information about the areas to benefit from the £28 million Contract 3 expansion of CSW Broadband with BT Group, announced last month. The roll-out is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

Councillor Kam Kaur, Portfolio Holder for Customer and Transformation for lead partner Warwickshire County Council, said: “CSW Broadband continues to bring broadband to some of the most rural parts of our area. It is just over three years since the project celebrated the first cabinet to go live and now over 58,000 properties can connect to the new fibre network.

“The new mapping makes it even easier for residents and businesses to see what is happening in their area, right down to the level of individual properties. The team is continually working to extend and improve the information that is available, and this latest iteration will help people to make informed decisions. For the first time, it is possible to see which areas will benefit not just from the current roll-out, but also from Contract 3, which starts next year. Great progress has been made so far, and there is much more to come.”

Steve Haines, Managing Director of Next Generation Access for Openreach, said: “CSW Broadband is a major engineering programme with a range of technical and geographical challenges. Many of the homes and businesses in this next phase are built near rivers and are served by Exchange Only (EO) lines which are connected directly to the telephone exchange rather than via a green roadside cabinet. In order to connect EO lines, additional roadside cabinets have to be installed and cables diverted to enable more of the county’s most remote communities to access this important technology. Where possible, the cabling will be routed to avoid having to cross any rivers.”

Because the fibre broadband network is being installed by Openreach, households and businesses have a wide choice of fibre broadband providers. Upgrades do not happen automatically. Anyone wanting to benefit need to place an order with their chosen fibre broadband provider.

Existing underground ducting is used wherever possible, minimising disruption and the need to dig up roads and pavements.

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Issued by Warwickshire County Council and BT on behalf of the CSW Broadband partnership.

For more information please contact Leigh Hunt at the CSW Broadband project office on 01926 738339 or email: broadband@cswbroadband.org.uk

Or

Emma Tennant at the BT regional press office on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.com Twitter: @EmmaTennantBT

About CSW Broadband

The CSW Broadband roll-out is using a mixture of technologies. These include Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC), which provides download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps, and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP), which is capable of delivering download speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) and upload speeds of up to 220Mbps. In addition there are some premises that are currently connected directly to the telephone exchange rather than via a green roadside cabinet, sometimes known as Exchange Only (EO) lines. In order to connect EO lines, further roadside cabinets have to be installed.

*Speeds referred to are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach, the local network business which is part of BT, to all broadband service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

The CSW Broadband programme is made up of different phases and contracts.

Contract 3, Part 1, (announced September 12, 2017) will total in excess of £28 million. This includes £4.8m from the local authorities in Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire, £7.2m from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, £2m** from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), £13m from BT Group and £1m from Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP). Almost 90 per cent of premises will be served by FTTP technology.

** £2m funding comes from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Governmentis the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For moreinformation visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

Contract 2, Part 1 of the CSW Broadband programme was announced in February 2015. The deal was spearheaded by Warwickshire County Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, which are contributing an initial £3.68 million and £0.38 million respectively, with an additional £2.61m from BT and a further £4.06m from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Superfast Extension Programme (SEP). When complete, it will increase the percentage of homes and businesses able to access high-speed fibre broadband in Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire to nearly 94 per cent when combined with the first phase of the CSW Broadband roll-out already underway and the private sector investments of companies like BT.

Contract 2, Part 2 was announced in January this year. Funding for this stage was made available to the CSW Broadband programme as a result of the ‘gainshare’ mechanism in the original contract. It was triggered by strong take-up of fibre broadband by local households and businesses.

The first part of the CSW Broadband roll-out is known as Contract 1 which started connecting the first homes and businesses in April 2014. This £15.47 million deal was spearheaded by Warwickshire County Council, BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, to enable around 40,000 premises to access high-speed fibre broadband.

About Superfast Britain

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department for 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:

  1. £790m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017;
  2. £150m to provide high-speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities; and
  3. £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

    About Openreach

    Openreach is Britain’s digital network business. That means we connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses – large and small – to the world. It’s our mission to build the best possible network with the highest quality service, and make sure that everyone in Britain can be connected.

    Our 30,400 people work on behalf of more than 580 communications providers like Sky, Talk Talk, Vodafone, Plusnet, EE and BT. Our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, covering more than 26.8 million premises. And our technology is the basis of Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest in the G20 as a proportion of GDP.

    We’re working hard to give people the broadband speeds they need at work and at home. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £11bn into our network. And we now manage more than 158 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, and from Wales to the east coast. But we’re not stopping there – we’re making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.

    We’re an independently governed business within the BT Group. Our business is highly regulated, and more than 90 per cent of our revenue comes from services that are regulated by Ofcom. Any company can access our products under the same prices, terms and conditions.

    In the year ending 31 March 2017, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.

    To find out more about us and what we do, go toopenreach.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