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18 December 2013, 06:00
Royal Wootton Bassett is celebrating the arrival of superfast fibre broadband in the town.
The town has become the first in Wiltshire to ‘go live’ as part of the multi-million pound partnership between Wiltshire Council, South Gloucestershire Council and BT. This partnership has benefited from additional funding from the UK Government’s Superfast Britain programme and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The partnership aims to take superfast speeds of 24Mbps and above to 91 per cent of premises in Wiltshire by the end of March 20161 while aiming to lay nearly 1,500 kilometres of fibre cabling and installing more than 300 new street cabinets to make it possible.
Once the roll-out is completed in Royal Wootton Bassett in the coming months around 1,500 residents and businesses will have the chance to take advantage of the new technology.
Wiltshire Council cabinet member for broadband, John Thomson, said:
“It’s fantastic that superfast broadband is now live in Royal Wootton Bassett. We are committed to providing this vital service across the county and it is a key initiative in our four year business plan. This will provide a real boost for residents and local businesses. We have worked hard with our partners to get to this stage and look forward to announcing more communities soon who will benefit from superfast broadband”.
On Wednesday December 18 from 9am -11am at Royal Wootton Bassett Town Hall, officers from Wiltshire Council’s Wiltshire Online team will be on hand to talk to the public about the superfast broadband programme and their Digital Literacy programme. The team want to encourage and support people across the county to get online through initiatives such as the recruitment of volunteers who can provide free, basic computer support to people in their local community. There is a whole host of support available and people are encouraged to pop down and pay the team a visit.
The switch on is part of a national initiative, which sees green fibre broadband cabinets in many parts of the country ‘going live’ simultaneously on November 18. Super Switch On Day marks the progress of super-fast broadband partnerships with Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) – the government agency providing £780 million in public funding to extend super-fast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017.
The arrival of fibre broadband in Royal Wooton Bassett was welcomed by the Government’s communications minister Ed Vaizey, who said:
“The switching on of super-fast broadband in the town is great news for both local residents and businesses. Today’s announcement is just part of a transformation of broadband services happening throughout the UK. Broadband is an essential part of Wiltshire’s present and future. It is vital that we embrace this latest generation of technology in order for our economy to remain competitive.”
Paul Coles, BT’s South West regional manager, said:
"Through this ambitious partnership the people of Royal Wootton Bassett find themselves at the leading edge of the high speed broadband revolution with access to the next generation of internet services.
Reliable, fast connections can make all the difference to homes and businesses, and give people in rural as well as urban areas much greater scope for interaction with the world around them whether they are seeking to start a new business, find new customers, undertake on-line training or simply wishing to browse for entertainment or leisure purposes.”.
More information on the project can be found at www.wiltshireonline.org