Better Broadband for more homes in Kirklees
Kirklees will form part of a new multi million pound network contract between West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and BT. The contract will make superfast fibre broadband available to tens of thousands more households and businesses across West Yorkshire.
This second phase of the project will build on the successful work of Superfast West Yorkshire and BT’s own commercial roll-out of the high-speed technology, to extend coverage of fibre broadband throughout the current programme area as well as into York and Kirklees. A further 28,000 homes and businesses are expected to get access within the next three years.
The £13 million deal has been agreed following discussions to ensure areas in the West Yorkshire and York currently without access to superfast broadband can benefit from improved broadband speeds of up to 80Mbps1. By the end of 2018 more than 98 per cent of homes and businesses in West Yorkshire and York are expected to have access to fibre broadband.
Kirklees Council Cabinet Member for Resources Cllr Graham Turner said:
“This is great news for the district. We have negotiated carefully to ensure that we have some control over where the investment goes, and we can prioritise postcodes to ensure that we get the best value for money.
“I have been very aware of those people without decent broadband who have been frustrated by this over the last few years however, this deal fully vindicates our decision not to apply for BDUK 1 funding, as this exciting new project provides us with much more opportunity to provide our residents with the service I believe they deserve. This in conjunction with our city fibre project will put Kirklees at the forefront of high speed digital connectivity, and will make us the place in West Yorkshire to live and do business from.
“Along with physical transport infrastructure, high-speed broadband is vital in providing the links businesses need to achieve growth and create new jobs and to help residents access the benefits of high speed internet. West Yorkshire Combined Authority has a goal of achieving 100% superfast broadband coverage for the whole of Leeds City Region.”
Funding includes £6.89 million from the Government’s Superfast Extension Plan and £6.1 million from BT. Additional investment will also be made by WYCA and local authority partners to support the delivery and resource for the day- to- day running of the project.
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said:
“Our rollout of superfast broadband in West Yorkshire has already reached more than 60,000 homes and businesses. This new deal means another 28,000 premises will also be able to access superfast speeds and will provide an additional boost to the local economy.”
Locations expected to be included in the second phase of the roll out include business parks, inner city and suburban areas and rural settlements currently not served by a fibre broadband network. A period of detailed surveying and planning of all potential locations will take place over the next few months prior to detailed plans being announced.
Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and private sector member of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, added:
“Digital connectivity across our city region is of utmost importance to businesses looking to accelerate their growth into new and existing markets but is also essential to businesses running their day to day activities. I am delighted that through this new contract we have secured the rollout of fibre to business parks and industrial centres across our city region that urgently need faster broadband speeds to improve their competitiveness and productivity.
“We will continue to work with BT and all other stakeholders to improve access to superfast broadband and improve digital speeds for the businesses and residents who live and work in the city region.”
More than 60,000 homes and businesses in the city region are now able to connect to high-speed fibre broadband as a direct result of Superfast West Yorkshire and the first phase of the project is on track to complete in September 2015.
The first phase of the project has also helped more than 600 businesses to learn new digital skills and find out how to grow their business online with one-to-one mentoring and master classes, which has included working closely with internet giant Google.
Phase Two of the Superfast West Yorkshire programme will continue to rollout the digital infrastructure to both urban and rural parts of the city region. By the end of the two phases of the programme more than 100,000 premises within the programme area are expected to have access to fibre broadband.
Up to date information on available business support and the roll-out programme is available at www.superfastwestyorkshire.co.uk