Rural broadband project Superfast Surrey has hit the halfway mark, bringing fibre-based services to 42,000 homes.
The project aims to see 99 per cent of the home county able to access superfast broadband, providing download speeds of at least 24Mbps.
Superfast Surrey aims to be finished by the end of 2014 and will see most homes and companies getting connected to FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet)-based lines, providing top speeds of 80Mbps.
Superfast Surrey will connect a total of 84,000 premises across the county. Over 390,000 Surrey homes and firms have already been connected to superfast broadband as part of BT’s own £2.5 billion commercial rollout.
Bill Murphy, BT Group’s managing director of next generation access, said: “Today’s announcement is another important milestone for a partnership which is making real progress. Working with our partners, we are able to bring this popular technology to locations where the economics and engineering challenges are that much greater.”
Superfast Surrey is a joint effort between BT, Surrey County Council and the government’s BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) fund.
Peter Martin, Surrey County Council’s Deputy Leader, said: “This is great news and confirms we’re well on the way to making Surrey the best connected county in the country by the end of the year. The benefits are significant, both economically and socially.
“Surrey’s economy will be boosted by around £30 million annually and homes will get fast, reliable internet access. We’ll now push on from this milestone to make sure nearly everyone in Surrey enjoys the benefits that high speeds offer.”
While the Superfast Surrey plan will see coverage extend to 99 per cent, last year a separate public-private group Enterprise M3, revealed plans to spend an extra £200,000 on connecting that last one per cent. This should see Surrey hit 100 per cent superfast coverage nearly three years before other regions like North Yorkshire do.
Superfast Surrey’s halfway point was marked by the switching on of a fibre broadband cabinet in Virginia Water. Over 520 premises in the area will be able to place orders for fibre-based broadband from next week.