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Date: 23/10/2014

Ambitious plans to roll-out superfast broadband across Worcestershire are three months ahead of schedule, partners Worcestershire County Council and BT announced today.

  Less than six months after Superfast Worcestershire began laying the new infrastructure, more than 6,800 county premises are now within reach of the new fibre optic network – 1,400 more than originally expected at this stage.

As well as laying 120 kilometres of fibre optic cable underground, 38 new fibre broadband cabinets have been installed. These road-side cabinets are needed to connect local people and businesses onto the new network, enabling them to access download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second and uploads of up to 20Mbps*.

It’s an ‘opt in’ service, and because the network is being installed by Openreach, Worcestershire people wanting to upgrade can choose from a number of fibre broadband providers. This ensures competitive prices for people, with more than 140 fibre broadband companies now operating across the UK.

Simon Geraghty Deputy Leader of Worcestershire County Council said: "This is great news as it means more people will have the choice of signing up to broadband even sooner than expected.  Faster broadband speeds mean better access online for residents and can ensure that businesses have the ability to keep up with the competition, develop their business and thrive in the County.

“The Council's Superfast Worcestershire Team along with BT and Openreach colleagues are working hard to ensure the target of at least 90 per cent of Worcestershire's residential and business premises  are provided with access to a next generation broadband network by June 2016.”

Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for broadband partnerships, said: “Superfast Worcestershire is a huge engineering programme, but the roll-out is progressing extremely well, and we’re working hard to bring the benefits of faster fibre broadband to as many communities as quickly as possible.”