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Cheshire UK Begins Expanded Phase 2 BT “Fibre Broadband” Rollout

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015 (2:19 am) - Score 780

At the end of last year the Connecting Cheshire project in England signed a new £6m Superfast Extension Programme contract to bring BT’s “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) services to a further 10,000 premises by summer 2017 (here). Work on this has now started, with a rough roll-out plan also being published.

The existing Phase 1 deployment, which is worth £28.5m, is already working to extend the same network to “around” 96% of local premises across Cheshire, Halton and Warrington by the end of 2015 and the most recent data suggests that this has already been largely achieved (i.e. over 84,000 extra homes and businesses have already benefited via 450 new street cabinets).

By comparison Phase 2 has today confirmed that the service will be extended to a number of rural areas for the first time, such as Arley, Burleydam, Gawsworth, Huxley and Wincle. Some infill to expand coverage in existing urban and outlying areas will also take place in Malpas, Cholmondeley, Bunbury and Mobberley.

David Brown, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council, said:

This is fantastic news for residents as we will be able to reach more premises with fibre, particularly those rural areas where some of the lowest speeds remain. We are determined to ensure that faster broadband is available to as many premises as possible so that the social and economic benefits can be realised – not only for our businesses but for people of all ages.”

The Phase 2 roll-out is being funded by £1.82m from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, with another £1.82m from the local councils, £643,000 from the Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF) and finally BT has put in £1.8m.

Unfortunately the usual caveat also applies, which reflects the project’s use of “fibre broadband” in its descriptions and the potential discrepancy between how much actual coverage of “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) will be the result (i.e. the use of “fibre broadband” tends to include the coverage of sub-24Mbps FTTC speeds as well).

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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