BT has switched on its first cabinet offering superfast broadband services as part of a £20m rollout designed to extend high-speed connectivity to less populated areas of Worcestershire.
The project is backed by funds from BT (£8.9m), Worcestershire County Council (£8.5m) and the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) (£3.35m) programme, and was signed off back in August 2013.
The first part of the switch-on means that more than 50 businesses in Malvern's Enigma Business Park can access the faster services of up to 80Mbps, as well as some 80 homes on a nearby street.
In time, 55,000 properties will be hooked up to the new network as BT continues to set cabinets live. BT’s own commercial fibre rollout has already reached 176,000 premises across the county.
One firm that is already benefiting from the new services is LGG Charlesworth, a plastics moulding company run by Graham Ward.
“We noticed the difference straight away. As a specialised technical manufacturing company we often have to send large 3D model data files to our customers particularly in the aerospace and automotive sectors,” Ward said.
“Faster broadband means we are more effective and efficient as a business and better able to meet our customers’ demanding timescales.”
Councillor Simon Geraghty, Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, said: “We have worked to ensure that the first cabinets to go live from the partnership will serve not only residents but also a key business location, Enigma Business Park.
“We know the availability of high-speed broadband will help successful businesses to continue to compete and grow.”
In total around 750km of new fibre will be installed across Worcestershire by BT Openreach as part of the rollout.
The switch-on comes in the same week that BT revealed over 6,000 Cornish businesses are now using superfast services in the county as part of a major rollout.
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