To mark Super Switch-On Day on Wednesday 18th December, councillors from South Gloucestershire Council, representatives from Business West and Communications Minister Ed Vaizey were in Yate to celebrate the early arrival of superfast fibre broadband.
As part of the multi-million pound Great Western Broadband partnership between South Gloucestershire Council, Wiltshire Council and BT, the street cabinets which serve the North Road area of Yate and residential premises in rural Old Sodbury were selected to ‘go live’ on Super Switch-On Day.
The £35.6 million project, which is also funded by the UK Government’s Superfast Britain programme, is rolling out fibre broadband to more challenging areas that fall outside the private sector’s commercial plans. Super Switch-On Day is a national initiative which will see green fibre broadband cabinets in many parts of the country ‘going live’ simultaneously on Wednesday.
Around 45 businesses in South Gloucestershire are set to benefit from this latest announcement as the selected cabinets serve the Stover Road business park. A number of residential properties in Old Sodbury will also have the chance to take advantage of the new technology straightaway and more will have the opportunity once the roll-out is complete. By the end of March 2015, 94 per cent of premises in South Gloucestershire will have access to superfast speeds of 24Mbps and above. Excellent progress has been made on the project so far.
Over the past week new fibre cabinets have arrived in Wick and Pucklechurch, the first communities to be announced in the roll out, and these will be ready to accept orders next spring. This will be followed by residential and business premises in Barrs Court and Warmley. In total, around 2,000 premises will benefit during this phase of the roll out with a further 3,000 premises able to order superfast broadband by June.
Cllr John Goddard, Chair of South Gloucestershire Council’s Resources Sub-Committee, said:
“Super Switch-On Day will come as a welcome boost for the economic prosperity of yet more of our local businesses and communities in South Gloucestershire who will soon have access to superfast broadband.”
“We are using Super Switch-On Day to help launch Superfast Business, which is run by Business West and Peninsula Enterprise. As part of the programme, more than 40 businesses across South Gloucestershire are set to benefit from more than £280,000 investment from theEuropean Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Eligible businesses will learn about, and exploit, the opportunities that digital technologies and fibre-optic broadband present.”
Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said:
“The switching on of superfast broadband in South Gloucestershire is great news for both local residents and businesses.”
“Today’s announcement is just part of a transformation of broadband services happening throughout the UK. Broadband is an essential part of South Gloucestershire’s present and future. It is vital that we embrace this latest generation of technology in order for our economy to remain competitive.”
Phil Smith, Managing Director of Business West, said:
“Superfast broadband is about much more than speeding up your email or web browsing. It can transform the way that you do business. Superfast connections offer a more reliable and consistent service – which is a crucial issue for businesses – whilst opening up new markets and boosting productivity.”
“We are urging ambitious businesses with strong growth potential to visit our website and find out more about the service – it has the potential to revolutionize the way they operate.”