More business and residential communities in Merseyside are to benefit from the roll-out of super-fast broadband thanks to strong demand for the high-speed fibre technology from local households and businesses.
More than 25 per cent of customers in the Merseyside Connected area have already chosen to take-up the service, triggering a ‘gainshare’ award under the terms of the contract with BT to be used to further extend the fibre roll-out.
More than 3,000 premises have just been added to the Merseyside Connected roll-out plans for 2017 and 2018 as a result of the high take up, which together are worth more than £2 million. A key area of focus will be business locations. Proposed areas, subject to planning and surveys, include Knowsley Business Park, Liverpool and Sefton Docks, Birkenhead Waterfront, Wirral Waters, Wirral International Business Park, Haydock, Bootle Office Quarter, Stonebridge Cross and Edge Lane.
It is expected that around 1,700 of the 3,000 premises will receive superfast speeds of more than 24Mbps.
The announcement comes as phase one of the contract is completed. In the three years since phase one started, the programme has delivered fibre broadband to more than 60,000 homes and businesses in Merseyside using a total of 495 green fibre cabinets.
Councillor Gary Millar, Assistant Mayor and Mayoral lead for business and international trade at Liverpool City Council, the lead local authority on Merseyside Connected, said: “Under its initial contract with BT the Merseyside Connected programme receives a refund if take-up reaches a certain point. As this has been achieved, the money will be used to extend the network to areas previously outside the planned coverage area which is great news.
“Investing public money in fibre broadband helps sustain our rural communities and maintains Merseyside’s competitive edge as a business destination. It also allows homeowners to do things that need a faster internet connection like accessing skills and learning, entertainment and other social connections.”
Tony Morgan, BT’s programme director, said: “The Merseyside Connected programme is going from strength to strength. We are seeing strong take-up of fibre broadband across the county and this is helping us reach even more communities.
“BT is committed to rolling out this transformational technology as far as possible. Together with our commercial rollout, more than 97 per cent of homes and businesses across the county are now able to access fibre broadband.”
All of the engineering work as part of Merseyside Connected is being carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business. This means residents and businesses with access to fibre broadband can choose from a wide range of internet service providers and benefit from competitive pricing and products.
To find out if residents or businesses can upgrade to fibre broadband they need to speak to their service provider, they will not automatically be upgraded.
For further information contact Janet Hare in the BT North West Regional Press Office
Tel: Direct when phoning from the NW 0800 085 0660. If phoning from outside the NW ring 01244 316 417 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All our news releases can be found at www.btplc.com/news