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Mark Winnington

District sees near total fibre broadband coverage thanks to multi-million pound Superfast Staffordshire partnership

Cannock Chase district now has near total fibre broadband coverage thanks to a county council scheme – with most of Staffordshire also able to connect.

The Superfast Staffordshire programme, run jointly with Openreach and the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, has helped to enable 99.3 per cent of Cannock Chase district to connect to speeds of 24mbps and above – enough to stream ultra high definition videos or download 200 photos in less than a minute.

More than 96 per cent of the county can now access high speed fibre – however the Superfast Staffordshire project team is urging more people to discover the benefits of high speed broadband as just over half of those homes and businesses able to connect to a superfast service have yet to do so.

So far, Superfast Staffordshire has enabled around 75,000 households and businesses to connect to superfast broadband speeds. The figure rises to more than 478,000 when combined with fibre rollout under commercial programmes.

Some of the latest areas to get connected are Morston Court (Cannock), Prospect Village (Heath Hayes), Blithbury, Brereton Cross, Brocton, Clifford’s Wood, Copmere End and Wetwood, where the technology has become available for the first time, as well as additional areas of Alrewas, Derrington and Essington.

The Superfast Staffordshire roll-out is being carried out by engineers from Openreach, the business responsible for Britain’s largest digital phone and broadband network.

Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader, said:

Access to superfast broadband is essential to every resident and business in Staffordshire and across the UK.

Connectivity enables people to live independently and grow more prosperous whilst boosting economic growth and productivity.

Our Superfast Staffordshire has played a vital part in the delivery of fibre broadband in the county and we are pleased to hit the 95 per cent coverage mark in November, ahead of the national programme. It’s fantastic that one of our districts has near total coverage with the rest of the county pretty close. We’re really urging people now to contact a broadband provider and get connected.

We are determined now to continue our drive to enable remaining properties to get connected. We’re using a combination of technologies and co-funding solutions to ensure even residents and businesses in the smallest, most remote parts of our county have access to this essential technology.”

Kim Mears, Openreach’s managing director of strategic infrastructure development, said:

Deploying fibre broadband to even more of Staffordshire’s smallest, most remote premises can be very challenging and often involve a mixture of complex technologies and processes. But we are working successfully in partnership with local communities to get access to agricultural land and roads in order to ensure our project teams get this new network installed.

It’s amazing to think just two years ago Britons used less than half the data they do now on their home broadband and this pace shows no signs of slowing. Consumers are doing more and more online and at the same time, from streaming high definition movies and TV, gaming, online shopping to using mobile devises over wireless broadband.

High speed  broadband also breaks down barriers to doing business around Staffordshire and across the globe as it helps small businesses to find new markets, sell new products and communicate more easily and quickly with their customers, suppliers and employees.”

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. People will need to place an order with their chosen fibre broadband provider.

People can follow the progress of the roll-out via the Superfast Staffordshire website: www.superfaststaffordshire.co.uk via Twitter @superfaststaffs and Facecbook following Superfast Staffordshire.