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Clare Burnett

Member Article

Over 21,000 signed up to multi-million Superfast West Yorkshire project

One year on and Superfast West Yorkshire has hit a mlestone as 21,500 homes and businesses can reportedly connect to fibre network as a direct result of the project.

This is nearly 2,000 additional premises and more than one month ahead of schedule.

More than 220 new fibre street cabinets are in place, with 121 of those live and taking orders from nearby homes and businesses.

Engineers have worked thousands of man-hours laying an impressive 161km of underground fibre cable.

The fibre optic technology is expected to reach a further 15,000 West Yorkshire premises in more than 31 exchange areas including Boston Spa, Bretton, Crossgates, Elland, Guiseley, Harehills Horsforth, and Idle by the end of December - taking the total figure to around 36,500.

Superfast West Yorkshire builds on BT’s commercial investment of £2.5 billion to rollout fibre broadband to two-thirds of UK premises.

Leeds City Council, Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Wakefield Council and Calderdale Council will work with BT to bring fibre broadband to premises in West Yorkshire, which are not currently included in the private sector’s commercial roll-out plans and would otherwise have missed out on this opportunity.

The Superfast West Yorkshire Business Support Programme, which also supports firms in Kirklees, is proving to be a hit with local businesses.

More than 270 have registered, with more than 60 already feeling the benefits, after completing various courses designed to improve their digital skills.

Master classes, training and access to targeted support and information is helping West Yorkshire businesses to turn faster broadband speeds into business growth.

The programme will involve investing a total of £21.9 million to extend high-speed fibre broadband to 97% of households and businesses across the majority of West Yorkshire by the end of 2015. The programme also aims to ensure all premises in this area have access to speeds of more than 2Mbps.

The investment is made up of Government funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) combined with funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), BT and four West Yorkshire local authorities.

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said: “Delivering a project of this size is never easy but our engineers have been working tirelessly to keep it on track and on time – currently deploying fibre to roughly 1,000 new premises every week.

“This investment in fibre and faster broadband speeds is a key part of West Yorkshire’s future economic growth.

“It provides the cornerstone for prosperous communities – helping local people build their skills and knowledge and encouraging the creation of new businesses and jobs.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Clare Burnett .

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