Connecting Cheshire, the organisation tasked with overseeing the roll-out of superfast broadband in Cheshire, has published a fibre broadband rollout map just seven months after the signing of a £28.5m deal between BT and four Cheshire councils to bring fibre broadband to 96 per cent of Cheshire.
The map shows where communities in the county can expect to get superfast broadband by 2015. The map will allow residents and business to find out when or whether they will be able to get fibre broadband over the next couple of years.
At present, most fibre deployment is in urban areas as well as those planned to be connected under the Connecting Cheshire programme, which will extend the network to over 80,000 premises in mainly outlying and rural communities.
The map also details those areas within Cheshire that are still under evaluation for fibre rollout. Connecting Cheshire said that the final four per cent of premises are under evaluation and the project is seeking additional funding or technological solutions to enable their upgrade to high speed broadband as soon as practicable, the organisation said.
“However these areas will see faster speeds as the project aims to deliver 2Mbps or more to all homes and businesses by the end of 2016 via enhancements to the existing copper network,” said Connecting Cheshire. “This will be as a significant speed boost for our most remote homes and businesses as 12 per cent currently receive less than 2Mbps.”
Connecting Cheshire expects to announce in early December which specific areas will be included in the first stage of its roll-out, with further phased announcements thereafter.
Homes and businesses in at least 20 telephone exchange areas will see upgrades as part of the first phase and be able to contact their internet service provider to order a switch to fibre broadband from the end of March 2014 onwards.
“Superfast broadband will open the doors to countless business and social benefits, everything from making it easier for businesses to connect with customers to helping children with their homework,” said Councillor David Brown, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council.
“Deploying fibre broadband is vital to help local businesses to be competitive and ensure they remain here. It can also play an important role in attracting firms to Cheshire, thereby helping to create even more jobs for local people.”