HUNDREDS of homes in an East Staffordshire village will be first in the area to benefit from a multi-million cash injection to provide superfast fibre optic broadband.
Staffordshire County Council, working with BT and Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), has revealed that Yoxall will be first village in the area to get high speed broadband as part of the £27.87 million scheme, which is being rolled out from April.
The programme 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.
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.”
The scheme will see 95 per cent of homes and businesses across the county have access to superfast broadband by Spring 2016.
Mike Cook, BT’s regional director for the West Midlands, said: “Superfast Staffordshire is a major engineering project but work to connect the first communities is progressing well.
“The internet is playing an increasingly important part in all our lives which is why the strong progress being made by superfast Staffordshire is so important.”
People can track progress via Twitter @superfaststaffs or by heading online to www.superfaststaffordshire.co.uk