PEOPLE are celebrating across an East Staffordshire village after the official arrival of superfast broadband.
Bosses from Staffordshire County Council and telecoms giant BT were on hand to welcome the switch-on of high-speed fibre broadband in Yoxall.
To mark the occasion, pupils from Yoxall’s St Peter’s Church of England School showed that it is ‘good to do so much more than just talk’ by taking part in a symbolic mini ‘video conference’ with youngsters from The Richard Crosse Primary School, in Kings Bromley.
The two villages have now become the first in the county to benefit from the multi-million pound Superfast Staffordshire high-speed broadband partnership.
Mark Winnington, cabinet member for economy and infrastructure, said: “Our key priority is to bring prosperity and jobs to Staffordshire and superfast broadband is a part of our strategy on achieving this.
“The superfast Staffordshire project is vital to people and businesses – it will increase opportunities, accessibility and economic growth.
“This infrastructure is as important as road or rail and means we’ll be on a level playing field with other areas of the UK and Europe.
“People can also be assured that we will be working extremely hard to find a solution to improving broadband speeds to the remaining five per cent of properties.
“Our partner BT will be working hard to deliver the programme as quickly and efficiently as it can and has carefully programmed the work to get the best value for money and with the least disruption as possible.”
This is the first part of a £27.87 million scheme that will see the laying of more than one million metres of fibre optic cable and around 500 new street-side cabinets installed to connect people to the new network across the county.
This partnership rollout is in addition to BT’s commercial rollout which will allow more than 370,000 county premises to access faster fibre broadband by the end of Spring 2014.
The scheme will see 95 per cent of homes and businesses across the county have access to superfast broadband by Spring 2016.