Better Broadband programme marks five years of superfast delivery across the county

24 October 2019

Marking five years of Better Broadband Coun Cutts & Peter Morley (Openreach)

Over 98% of homes and businesses across the county now have access to superfast broadband, with download speeds of 30Mbps or more, thanks to the Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire programme, led by the County Council in partnership with Openreach. This takes the county a step closer to 100% broadband coverage.

The partnership to deliver faster broadband speeds to all parts of the county has bought together over £31m of investment from the County Council, Government, Openreach and other partners over the last five years.

The Better Broadband programme has reached over 84,000 homes and businesses, many of which are in the most rural and remote parts of the county. More than 600 green roadside fibre cabinets have now been installed as part of the build, and the final one - the 608th - in Upper Saxondale has now been switched on. More than 600km of fibre optic cable has been laid as part of the work – more than the road distance between Nottingham and Dundee!

The programme has worked to ensure that broadband coverage in Nottinghamshire is ranked amongst the best in the UK. The latest coverage figures from www.thinkbroadband.com show that Nottinghamshire ranks top in the region for properties with access to superfast download speeds of 30Mbps and above.

Councillor Kay Cutts, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council said:
“I’m delighted that we can celebrate the fifth anniversary of this vital infrastructure programme. As more aspects of our lives require fast and reliable access to the internet - whether at work or at home - Nottinghamshire remains at the forefront of installing broadband infrastructure to attract new investment, generate growth and support our economy. This is in line with the County Council’s commitment to make Nottinghamshire a great place to live, work, visit and set up a business.

“We are determined to not rest on our laurels and we remain committed to spreading the reach of superfast broadband to the final 2% of properties in the county which are the most difficult to reach.”

The third phase of delivery with Openreach, which is currently underway, uses full fibre technology – sometimes known as Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) - as opposed to using the existing copper network. This phase will see full fibre solutions supplied to over 2,500 homes and businesses in the Bassetlaw and Newark and Sherwood districts.

The delivery of full fibre infrastructure means the properties reached by this phase will have ultrafast speeds of up to 1Gbps. Ultrafast broadband packages make sure that large families which have several devices using the internet all at once will not be slowed down by their broadband service when family members are downloading, browsing and streaming at the same time.

As well as being faster, full fibre broadband is also more reliable and future-proof, so people living and working in upgraded areas know it’ll be suitable for decades to come.

Councillor Cutts added: “We are now in the early stages of the next technological revolution, the development of a ubiquitous 5G network. It is widely believed that all industries will feel the effects of the shift to 5G. The ‘Internet of Things’ is expected to bring about dramatic transformations in our daily lives through a network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity which enables these objects to connect and exchange data.

“We remain determined to be at the forefront of digital infrastructure to take advantage of associated the economic and social benefits. Having access to the fastest and most reliable broadband is not only great for today’s users but is future-proofed, ready for future generations. These developments will safeguard the future prosperity of our residents and businesses.”

Mark Rawlings, Openreach’s programme manager in Nottinghamshire, said: “We are pleased to be marking this historic milestone with our partners at the county council. A huge of amount of hard work has taken place during the last five years, making faster broadband available to tens of thousands of homes and businesses across Nottinghamshire. We know there is more to do, and we look forward to going even further in the future.

“Having access to faster broadband speeds has many advantages. We’re increasingly depending on the internet for everyday life, so the importance of the work carried out by Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire should not be underestimated. And it’s important to remind people living in upgraded areas that they need to contact their service provider about switching to a fibre service. It does not happen automatically.”

Lisa Cobley, of Upper Saxondale, who recently had superfast broadband installed in her home said: “I remember the days of dial up internet, it could take minutes to load a single page. The speed of my internet connection now means I can download movies, listen to music, book holidays, track my finances, FaceTime relatives. I totally love my broadband.”

You can watch a video of the opening of the final roadside cabinet on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbSFrKY3fV4&t=20s

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