‘Community champions’ wanted by CSW Broadband partnership as take-up of new technology continues to rise

CSW Broadband – the partnership rolling out faster fibre broadband across Warwickshire, Solihull and Coventry – is on the hunt for local broadband community ‘Champions’ to help spread the word about the benefits of the new technology.

Warwickshire County Council and BT, which are spearheading the programme, today revealed that CSW Broadband has some of the best rates of take-up of fibre broadband in the country.

CSW Broadband began connecting the first homes and premises in April 2014. Since then, the percentage of local households and businesses opting for an upgrade has increased to nearly 30 per cent.

Councillor Alan Cockburn, deputy leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “The CSW Broadband roll-out is progressing well but we’re keen for even more people to benefit from this new technology.

“There’s no doubt the success of the project to date has been largely down to the support of broadband enthusiasts spreading the word in their communities. So now we’re on the look-out for more volunteers to become local broadband champions, especially in some of the new areas where fibre is going live, including Alne End, Butlers Marston, Lea Marston, Little Kineton, Radway, Upton and Warmington.”

Anyone interested in becoming a broadband community champion should contact the CSW Broadband programme office by emailing: broadband@cswbroadband.org.uk or completing the form on the website at www.cswbroadband.org.uk

Dan Essex, who has been a broadband community champion in Shilton and Barnacle for more than three years, said: “You don’t have to be a technical expert to be a broadband community champion – you just need to have a passion for sharing the good news about when the technology is going to become available and the ways in which people can benefit. This might involve putting up posters on local notice boards, delivering flyers or posting on local websites. How much you get involved is up to you.”

Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for broadband partnerships, said: “The roll-out of CSW Broadband is continuing at a pace and our project teams are working hard to enable more communities to have access to this technology as quickly as possible.

“Whether it’s people working from home, businesses boosting their competitiveness and attracting new customers or families using the internet for research, studies, gaming, shopping or streaming music – everything is better, faster and easier with fibre broadband.”

Warwickshire County Councilllor Philip Johnson, Chair of Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said: “The Champions played a major part in the success of the first phase of the superfast broadband rollout and we would like to see more people coming forward to carry out this important role”.

Local people can get more information and updates from the CSW Broadband website – www.cswbroadband.org.uk – and via Twitter and Facebook.

Superfast broadband is an ‘opt in’ service, but because the network is being installed by Openreach it is ‘open’, so residents and businesses wanting to upgrade have a choice of fibre broadband service providers, with more than 140 now operating in the UK. Local people choosing to upgrade will be able to get download speeds of up to 80 megabits (Mbps) and uploads of up to 20Mbps*.

*These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

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