CSW Broadband announces new cabinets

Barton-on-the-Heath, Earlswood, Elmdon, Hampton-in-Arden, Meriden, Newton and Biggin, Tanworth-in-Arden and Wolvey are among next communities to benefit

Nearly 30,000 premises now able to access faster fibre broadband thanks to the CSW Broadband partnership

More than 7,800 more homes and businesses across Warwickshire, Solihull and Coventry will be able to benefit from the multi-million pound CSW Broadband roll-out of high-speed fibre optic technology before the end of the summer, lead partners Warwickshire County Council and BT announced today.

From the middle of April, faster fibre-based broadband will start to become available for the first time in parts of Barton-on-the-Heath, Earlswood, Elmdon, Hampton-in-Arden, Meriden, Newton and Biggin, Tanworth-in-Arden and Wolvey.

The latest expansion will also include making the high-speed technology more widely available in areas which already have some fibre broadband through the private sector’s commercial rollout, such as Atherstone, Kenilworth, Rugby, Sheldon, Shirley, Tile Hill and Wellesbourne.

Engineers from Openreach – BT’s local network business – are expected to complete the upgrade work by the end of August.

It’s nearly a year since the CSW Broadband partnership started connecting the first premises to faster fibre broadband. Since then, Openreach engineers have installed more than 140 new road-side cabinets. As a result, nearly 30,000 homes and businesses are now able to access the new fibre optic network.

Councillor Alan Cockburn, Deputy Leader of Warwickshire County Council said: “The CSW Broadband project is now extending further into our area and reaching right out into the heart of our communities. This latest announcement means that even more people will benefit from faster broadband, and that means more businesses, more schools, more households and more individuals will be able to connect through an ever-expanding choice of equipment. We are well beyond the stage where people simply use the Internet for sending the odd email and now remote working; buying, selling or banking on-line; access to leaning materials, Skyping friends and relatives or streaming online films and other media are commonplace. We have come a long way both technically and in distance over the past 12-months.”

Mike Cook, BT’s regional director for the West Midlands, said: “The internet is increasingly touching the lives of us all, opening up new and exciting opportunities for people at work and at home. Whether it’s families needing to connect several different devices at the same time, people wanting to run a business or work from home, or grandparents wanting to stay in touch with their grandchildren on the other side of the world. Everything is easier, quicker and more reliable with faster fibre broadband.

“CSW Broadband is a huge engineering project, but our teams are working very hard to bring high-speed broadband within reach of more and more communities, as fast as possible.”

Anyone wanting to follow the progress the CSW Broadband roll-out should log onto: www.cswbroadband.org.uk or look out for updates on Twitter and Facebook.

It’s 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 who they take their fibre broadband from, with more than 140 providers 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*.

Last month, CSW Broadband announced a further £10.73 million funding that will extend the reach of fibre broadband to another 17,000 homes and businesses across Warwickshire and Solihull**. This is in addition to the current roll-out programme.

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

** The new deal was spearheaded by Warwickshire County Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, which are contributing an initial £3.68 million and £0.38 million respectively, with an additional £2.61m from BT and a further £4.06m from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Superfast Extension Programme (SEP).

When complete, it will increase the percentage of homes and businesses able to access high-speed fibre broadband in Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire to nearly 94 per cent when combined with the first phase of the CSW Broadband roll-out already underway and the private sector investments of companies like BT.

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