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755 Extra Rural Buckinghamshire Premises to Get FTTP Broadband

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020 (7:57 am) - Score 995
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A joint £2.1m project between Openreach (BT), Buckinghamshire County Council and the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) looks set to result in a further 270 businesses and 485 homes in the county’s most rural communities gaining access to a gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network.

At present some 96.4% of premises in Buckinghamshire are estimated to now have access to “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) speeds, which is up from 68.3% when the work on their Connected Counties project first began in 2013 (50,000+ premises have benefited). The latest contract, while much smaller, will seek to extend this a little further by focusing upon areas where such speeds aren’t currently possible via fixed line solutions.

The new scheme is funded by a £1.8m grant (public funding) from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), which is supported by an additional contribution of private investment from Openreach (suggesting a figure of c.£300k from the UK network access provider).

Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire Council, said:

“In Buckinghamshire we have one of the highest percentages of small businesses of any council area, and they make a significant contribution to the national economy.

While we’re building a gigabit Britain, many of our rural residents and businesses are still struggling to operate with broadband at a snail’s pace, and I’m pleased this project brings many more out from a digital backwater and on to the superfast highway.”

Laura Whelan, Openreach Regional Partnerships Director South and East, said:

“We have already made a great deal of progress across Buckinghamshire as a result of our partnership on the Connected Counties programme, making faster broadband available to tens of thousands of properties for the first time.

The last five months have proved the vital importance of being connected. We know there is more to do, particularly in the most remote areas, and that’s why we’re delighted to be working with Buckinghamshire Council on extending that reach even further.

We’ve also recently announced our own Openreach commitment to extend our fibre build to include the Gerrards Cross and Penn exchanges as part of our ambition to cover more harder to reach areas in the County.”

The project is good news, although it’s only going to tackle a small piece of the county’s remaining gap toward universal coverage of “superfast” connectivity. Hopefully the Government’s forthcoming £5bn F20 programme will help to reach the remaining areas with gigabit-capable broadband by the end of 2025.

In the meantime, disadvantaged communities in rural Buckinghamshire can also now access much bigger gigabit broadband vouchers, which could help some areas to build faster connectivity sooner than currently envisaged (here).

Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Avatar n says:

    Mark, and idea of villages/areas covered?

  2. Avatar ComicBookAssasin says:

    Aylesbury likely to get missed out again ‍♂️

    1. Avatar Chris says:

      Depends how close to Aylesbury you mean. Ecom Fibre are doing a lot of work in the area North of the town

  3. Avatar ComicBookAssasin says:

    @Chris Bedgrove would be nice, I spoke to Ecom the have no plans to come into Aylesbury despite the amount of new builds flying up here

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