An extra 6,500 ‘hard to reach’ homes and businesses across Oxfordshire will be able to receive high-speed fibre broadband following an additional £5.1 million funding announced on 9th February 21015. Better Broadband for Oxfordshire will now ensure that superfast broadband is available to at least 71,000 homes and businesses across the county by the end of 2017.
The extra money is made up of £1 million from South Oxfordshire District Council, £500,000 from Cherwell District Council, £250,000 from the Vale of the White Horse District Council, £200,000 from Oxfordshire County Council, £1.2m from BT, and a further £1.95m from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Superfast Extension Programme.
This injection of new money brings the total investment up to £30.1 million for the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme, which means that at least 95 per cent of all premises will have access to superfast broadband speeds of 24 Mbps and above by the end of 2017. Digital Economy Minister, Ed Vaizey, welcomed the new investment saying: “Today’s announcement marks the next step in the transformation of the digital landscape of Oxfordshire. We want as many people as possible to enjoy the benefits of superfast broadband, and this new £5.1 million investment will help us reach thousands more local homes and businesses. By 2017, 95 per cent of the UK will be able to access superfast speeds and I congratulate Better Broadband for Oxfordshire for the remarkable progress they have made already in helping us deliver this.”
The Better Broadband for Oxfordshire partnership roll-out began connecting the first homes and businesses to faster fibre broadband just over a year ago and is now close to enabling 40,000 premises to have access to high-speed fibre broadband. The Better Broadband for Oxfordshire partnership is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, which itself recently announced two million homes and businesses around the country are now able to connect to superfast broadband as a result of BDUK.
More details about the communities to benefit from this new funding will be announced later this spring and local people will be able to follow its progress via the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire website: www.betterbroadbandoxfordshire.org.uk
Planning and surveying on the new phase will begin in the autumn, and engineers from Openreach (BT’s local network business) will start building and installing the fibre and structures before the end of the year, expanding the reach of fibre alongside the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme already underway.