More than 200 homes and businesses in the small rural village of Appleby can now access high-speed broadband for the first time, thanks to the Northern Lincs Broadband project.
Andrew Percy, MP for Brigg and Goole, joined council leader Cllr Liz Redfern, deputy leader, Rob Waltham, and senior members of the project team and BT, to visit the first fibre broadband cabinet to go live in the village- with more than 30 villagers already signing up to a superfast service in just one week.
Villagers are among the first of thousands living in properties in North Lincolnshire to get access to superfast broadband as part of the second phase of the Northern Lincs Broadband (NLBB) project. This builds on the first phase of the £7m project, which successfully hit its target provide fibre to 92.5 per cent of Northern Lincolnshire in June last year, bringing fibre within reach of more than 31,000 premises.
The second phase aims to provide an additional 3,400 homes and businesses with high speed broadband, thanks to more than £5m raised in new funding as well as savings made during the first phase.*
Cllr Rob Waltham, deputy leader, North Lincolnshire Council, said: "North Lincolnshire Council is leading the way in providing high speed broadband. Working with BT, we have already made the technology available to more than 31,000 premises in Northern Lincolnshire, including more than 4,000 businesses. And phase two is on track and progressing well.
“We fully expect to reach 99 per cent of premises in Northern Lincolnshire by 2018, taking us beyond the government’s national target of 95 per cent.
"We are committed to ensuring that as many businesses as possible receive the broadband speed they need and deserve to help their business grow and prosper, which in turn creates jobs and a prosperous economy. It also means a great deal to residents as it enables them to do things online much faster, ultimately saving time and money."
Communities across Northern Lincolnshire included in the second phase are Bonby, Whitton, Roxby, Eastoft, Garthorpe and Fockerby, Westwoodside, Epworth, Kirton in Lindsey, North Killingholme – plus many more.
Commenting on the rollout, Derek Richardson, programme director for Openreach, BT’s local network business, said: “Getting this network in the ground has been a fantastic achievement. However, the real test of its success will be the amount of local people, and businesses, taking advantage of it. So it is encouraging to see so many people in Appleby signing up to a service in such a short space of time.
“People who haven’t signed up yet should remember that superfast does not mean super-expensive. Fibre broadband is an ‘opt in’ service which means you must contact a service provider of your choice to upgrade and with around 70 operating across the UK it is a great time to find a deal to suit you.”
Not only is superfast broadband of value to business it also has many benefits for families such as downloading music in minutes or watching catch-up TV; streaming HD or 3D movies in a few minutes; or posting photos and videos to social networking sites in seconds. It can also improve access to new job opportunities, and make it easier to shop around for cheaper services. Most importantly, it enables everyone in the family to do their own thing online, all at the same time.
It provides the cornerstone for prosperous communities – helping local people build their skills and knowledge and encouraging the creation of new businesses and jobs.