BT has signed a deal with Leicestershire council that will see 95 per cent of locations benefit from superfast fibre-based broadband.
The work will be completed by March 2016 and will see the majority of homes and business premises get connected to FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet)-type lines, providing download speeds of up to 80Mbps and uploads of up to 20Mbps.
A small number of locations will also benefit from the faster FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) type of connection, which provides top speeds of 330Mbps and maximum uploads of 30Mbps.
Blake Pain, Leicestershire County Council’s member for economic development is optimistic that the project, costing £16.9 million, will quickly pay off: “We predict that faster broadband will create a £92 million boost to Leicestershire’s economy over the next seven years, by making firms more competitive and attracting inward investment and jobs.
“Rural communities and businesses can play a major role in the county’s future, once they have the high speed connections they need to compete nationally and internationally.”
Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, added: “Faster broadband will help to unlock rural Leicestershire’s economic potential. The Leicestershire economy, especially in rural areas predominantly consists of small and micro businesses. A large number of people are self-employed, work from home and are in the creative, knowledge based sectors which need high speed broadband and will provide the driving force for the county’s digital economy.”
It’s not just small talk. As we’ve seen in Cornwall, having your workplace connected to superfast broadband means that employees can work from home and company reps can place orders for interested customers at trade shows anywhere in the world.
The Council is stumping up £4.1 million of taxpayer’s money for the project with £3.3 million coming from the government’s BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) pot and £1.23 million coming from the EU. BT is contributing the remaining £8.3 million.
BT has already connected several thousand locations across Leicestershire to superfast under it’s own steam. With more than 190,000 homes and businesses connected already, and 270,000 aimed to be done by Spring 2014, BT is already on its way to hitting its March 2016 target.