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BT trousers £56k for fibre broadband upgrade from Oxfordshire villagers

Residents of an Oxfordshire village have clubbed together to pay BT £56,000 to deliver superfast fibre broadband by the end of 2013.

Binfield Heath wasn’t included in BT’s commercial rollout plan, and Oxfordshire has yet to publish its Broadband Delivery for the UK plan for reaching the rest of the county with state aid.

The local exchange at Caversham had been upgraded, so the Parish Council has negotiated a deal for BT Openreach to supply two new cabinets and a fibre link back to Caversham.

BT trousers £56k for fibre broadband upgrade from Oxfordshire villagers
So I said: “Roger, isn’t there something we can do about this broadband? Felicity can’t get on Ocado.”

Read more about BT Broadband RolloutsPaul Rollason, chairman of Binfield Heath Parish Council said: “We have all suffered from low, or even unusable broadband speeds in the past, due to our distance from the exchange. Fibre will therefore make a massive difference to everyone in the village, especially those people who run businesses or work from home.

“The villagers of Binfield Heath had the imagination to immediately grasp the opportunity offered by BT, due to their foresight and generosity they have ensured that the village has a viable future and will thrive in the years to come. We can’t wait to get online.”

BT said most homes and businesses will get more than 24Mbps from the FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) connections, with ‘many’ seeing up to 80Mbps.

The bill works out at just over £199 each for Binfield Heath’s 280 households, most of which are home to senior managers, company directors, senior officials and professionals, with polo a popular pass-time.

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for next generation access, said: “Binfield Heath’s really engaged with us around the best solution for their community, and together we found a way to bring fibre speeds to almost the entire village; it’s a fantastic result.

“We are keen for other communities to talk to us about their options; we want to provide faster speeds to as many people as possible and in many cases local residents can make a real difference in bringing fibre to their area.”

Oxfordshire County Council and the UK government will spend £13.86m of BDUK funds to provide superfast broadband to at least 90 per cent of premises in the UK, and universal access to ADSL with a speed of at least 2 Mbps, all by 2015. The only bidder for the programme (or any others in the UK) is BT.

Image: Binfield Heath Blog

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