By Ian Dipple Friday 20 September 2013 Updated: 20/09 08:53
GIVING more businesses across Redditch access to superfast broadband will be the focus of a new scheme between the private sector and Worcestershire County Council.
More details of the £20million Superfast Worcestershire Partnership with BT have been released including a list of provisional locations likely to benefit from the move over the next three years.
The initial phases of the rollout will include some of the most rural areas of the county as well as areas more densely populated.
Because over 90 per cent of residential areas in Redditch already benefit from the technology the scheme in the borough will focus on commercial premises. The aim is to increase superfast broadband access from the current 41 per cent to around 90 per cent over the period.
The expansion of the fibre network is on top of the Community Pathfinder Project which has seen a deal between the county council and Airband to provide speeds of between 10mbps and 20mbps to allow rural areas including Feckenham access to internet services, such as live streaming of television programmes, which currently are inaccessible.
Detailed planning and technical survey work will now take place over the next nine months.
Coun Simon Geraghty, responsible for economy, skills and infrastructure on the county council, said: “We recognise how important faster Broadband is to local people and for businesses to plan ahead. We remain confident more than 90 per cent of residents and business premises will receive high-speed fibre Broadband over the next three years but what we simply do not have is the detail. It is, therefore, important that the information released is treated as an indication of the anticipated roll out only.”
Rob Shakespeare, BT’s senior project manager for Superfast Worcestershire, said: “Planning and survey work is essential to ensure we get the design of the fibre infrastructure right. This is a big job and includes surveying all the underground ducts serving homes and businesses in the area. We’ll then draw up a plan for where the fibre, new ducts, street cabinets and additional underground and overground equipment goes.”
Visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk/broadband to see a map of the anticipated locations for the broadband rollout.
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