Demand for high-speed fibre broadband soars with Connecting Cheshire

More people in Cheshire are signing-up for high-speed fibre broadband than ever before thanks to the work of Connecting Cheshire.

Connecting Cheshire – a multi-million pound partnership between four local councils and BT – has made fibre-optic broadband technology available to around 85,000 homes and businesses across the county.

And figures announced today show the number of households and businesses using the faster connections in the Connecting Cheshire area more than doubled in the past 18 months with 35 per cent now signed up to a fibre broadband package compared to 17 per cent just a year and a half ago.

One community which has seen significant additional coverage and strong take-up is Northwich, where 13 new roadside fibre cabinets have now been installed, covering some 1,250 homes and businesses. In some areas of the town, more than 80 per cent of people have chosen to take up the service – and the number is still rising.

Visiting the latest fibre broadband cabinet to ‘go live’ in the town, Graham Evans, MP for Weaver Vale, said: “In today’s digital society, fast broadband is absolutely essential for businesses and families alike. This new cabinet is another step in the right direction with many more homes and businesses now able to access this vital technology.

“I have long campaigned to ensure that everyone in Weaver Vale has access to superfast fibre broadband and I will continue to champion this at every level of Government.”

Councillor Brian Clarke Cabinet Member – Economic Development and Infrastructure for Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Fibre broadband is transforming the lives of people across Cheshire. So much we do these days relies on a fast internet connection whether we’re at home or at work.

“And demand for better, faster broadband in Cheshire is clear – in the past 18 months twice as many homes and businesses have signed-up to use the new technology installed as part of the Connecting Cheshire programme.”

Tony Morgan, BT’s programme director, said: “We are delighted the rollout in Cheshire is proving to be so popular. It’s great to see the benefits of all the hard work of the programme coming to life through the number of people who are now taking advantage of the high speeds. The technology really does have the ability to transform the way people and businesses use the internet.

“Together with BT’s commercial rollout, more than 96 per cent of homes and businesses across the county are now able to access fibre broadband.”

Fibre broadband helps make everything happen online much faster than a standard broadband connection. The technology offers download speeds up to 80Mbps. To check availability in your area visit www.connectingcheshire.org

All of the engineering work as part of Connecting Cheshire is being carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business. This means residents and businesses with access to fibre broadband can choose from a wide range of internet service providers and benefit from competitive pricing and products.

To find out if residents or businesses can upgrade to fibre broadband they need to speak to their service provider, they will not automatically be upgraded.

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