Month: February 2016

Connecting Cheshire roll-out of high speed fibre broadband has now reached more than 2,300 Chester city centre premises.


More than 2,300 households and businesses in the centre of Chester now have access to high-speed fibre broadband, thanks to Connecting Cheshire.

The latest green fibre broadband cabinet to be connected to the Chester Central exchange is in Hunter Street. It enables more than 150 businesses and homes nearby to connect to the high-speed network.

To date, 22 new roadside fibre cabinets have been installed in Chester by Connecting Cheshire, a partnership between Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Halton and Warrington Borough Councils, BT and central Government with additional funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

When combined with BT’s commercial roll-out of the new technology, almost 20,000 homes and businesses in central Chester are now able to access faster broadband.


One Chester business already benefitting from the fast speeds is Legat Owen, commercial estate agent and chartered surveyors. Will Sadler, director of Legat Owen, said: ”The additional coverage of superfast broadband in Chester is very welcome news; our potential clients’ first question – even before asking about the rental costs – is often what is the broadband speed for this property?

“Being able to reassure occupiers that Chester is becoming truly a connected city is going to help sustain and safeguard the economic growth of the city and wider region.”

Councillor Samantha Dixon, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council and ward member for Chester city centre, said: “I am pleased more premises in the city centre are now able to benefit from faster broadband, from cafes offering free wifi to businesses using cloud based applications. I know how important fast and reliable broadband is to our local business community. This will help keep Chester vibrant and competitive.”

Tony Morgan, BT’s contract director, said: “High speed fibre broadband helps to ensure that businesses thrive and don’t just survive and helps to keep communities connected. Whatever you do online you can do it better with fibre broadband.

“Across Cheshire, BT has made fibre available to tens of thousands of local households and businesses through its own commercial programme and its investment in Connecting Cheshire.

“People and businesses in Chester are increasingly taking the great opportunities that this transforming technology offers.  And the engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, have worked closely with Cheshire West and Chester to make those opportunities as widely available as possible.”

To check availability in your area you can visit the Connecting Cheshire website and enter a postcode or a telephone number –

Connection to fibre broadband does not happen automatically and people must contact their service provider – there are more than 140 of them offering fibre broadband services across the UK – to place an order.

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Cheshire firm boosts business and staff thanks to Connecting Cheshire

Cloud computing

A specialist Cheshire document management and storage company has won three new contracts and will boost its revenues by 20 per cent just by installing superfast fibre broadband.

Topwood Ltd is one of more than 83,000 businesses and households which now have access to the high-speed technology thanks to Connecting Cheshire, the fibre broadband partnership between four Cheshire Councils and BT.

Fibre broadband has transformed Topwood, based near Malpas, and has changed its whole business model.  It is taking on more staff having already won three big new contracts.

The two key benefits of Topwood’s new systems are superfast uploading and downloading of documents and authorised clients being able to easily access their documents through the Cloud from anywhere in the world. The paper chase has become a cloud base.

The company’s new Electronic Document Management (EDM) solution has already led to it securing business from a leading North West legal firm, a national finance group and the human resources function of a global m

anufacturer.  This initial new business will boost Topwood’s storage and document management  revenue by 20 per cent, £54,000, in 2016 and it expects to win more soon.


Managing director, Tom Gilruth, says the huge improvements are down to the superfast technology.

He said: “Since the launch of our EDM solution just a few months ago, we have already managed to secure three pieces of new business.  Without the ability to offer the benefits of cloud-based electronic document filing, only possible since we have had superfast fibre broadband, we would not have been able to win this new work.

“We will soon be recruiting administration staff from the local area to service the extra demand taking us from 1.5 to 3 admin employees, a 100 per cent increase in this area. It has transformed our business!”

Since 2014, the company’s bulk scanning service has converted large volumes of paper documents to electronic archive files (usually in PDF/A format).  These files were then supplied to clients via encrypted hardware for their IT departments to upload to their networks.  The new EDM has cut through this process and saved money on hardware, space and time.

Antoinette Sandbach, MP for Eddisbury, said: “I am delighted Topwood have been able to realise the benefits of faster broadband so effectively. Fast, reliable and competitively priced broadband is essential to all businesses in the 21st century and I look forward to a time when all the businesses in my constituency are connected.”

Mike Blackburn, BT North West regional director, said: “High speed fibre broadband has been a game-changer for so many businesses in Cheshire.  Topwood is the newest recruit in a long line of firms to benefit from the work of Connecting Cheshire and BT has played its part in delivering a technology that has created a more connected business community in the county.”

Councillor Brian Clarke, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure, said: “Investment in faster broadband continues to be a key economic and social priority for the Council. I am especially pleased to see how businesses can exploit the benefits and see such a significant return on investment.”

Find out more about Connecting Cheshire at     When the private sector’s commercial programme is also  taken into account, more than 400,000 homes and businesses in Cheshire now have access to the high speed fibre broadband network.

Find out more about Topwood Ltd at

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Cutting the ribbon on fibre broadband in Halton

Halton speeding ahead with 96% high-speed fibre broadband coverage

Connecting Cheshire has now reached more than 7,500 additional home and business premises across Halton giving them access to high speed fibre broadband, taking the area’s total coverage to 96 per cent.

To date 43 additional new roadside fibre cabinets have been installed in Halton by Connecting Cheshire, a Partnership between Halton, Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East and Warrington Borough Councils and BT.

Investment has been made throughout the borough, covering Runcorn, Widnes and more rural areas such as Hale and Moore.

When commercial companies’ rollouts are added to the Connecting Cheshire additions to the network in Halton, the combined fibre broadband coverage for Halton is 96 per cent of premises.

To check availability in your area you can visit the Connecting Cheshire website and enter a postcode or a telephone number –
The Leader of Halton Council, Cllr Rob Polhill, said: “The additional broadband coverage we have brought to Halton is already making a big impact and helping to keep our businesses competitive, including Astmoor Industrial Estate.

“More coverage is coming soon in our phase two roll-out so that we can reach even more premises, especially those in our industrial areas, I urge everyone to check their availability and upgrade to superfast broadband as it offers many fantastic benefits for your home or business, and it could well be cheaper as the market is very competitive.”

Tony Morgan, BT’s contract director said, “High speed fibre broadband helps to keep communities connected and ensures that businesses thrive and don’t just survive. Since 2007 BT has laid the foundations of the network for local authorities like Halton to build on. People and businesses in Halton are increasingly taking the opportunities that this transforming technology offers.  And the Openreach engineers have worked closely with Halton to create more and more of those opportunities.”

Connection does not happen automatically and people must contact their communication provider – there are more than 140 of them across the UK – to order the service.

Continue Reading