Superfast South Yorkshire Achieves Major 100k broadband Milestone

More than 100,000 homes and businesses in South Yorkshire can now order faster, better broadband thanks to multi-million investment by Superfast South Yorkshire.

           The partnership, between the four South Yorkshire local authorities, UK Government and Openreach, has invested more than £35 million so far to bring superfast and full fibre broadband to thousands of communities across South Yorkshire.

Most recently hundreds of people living and working in communities such as Ecclesfield, High Green, Hoyland, Kiveton, Maltby, Penistone, Silkstone and Thorne have been upgraded and can now enjoy the benefits of a full fibre broadband network which offers some of the fastest broadband speeds in Europe.

           Martin Owens, Superfast South Yorkshire Programme Manager, said: “We’re delighted so many residents and businesses can and are taking advantage of the improved broadband speeds across the region. Fast, reliable broadband is more important than ever before as people are working from home, starting businesses and streaming content on multiple devices.”                   

One South Yorkshire resident taking full advantage of the boost in speed is Martin Nettleton, who lives with his family in the village of Billingley in Barnsley. Martin recently placed an order for a full fibre broadband service and is now benefitting from broadband speeds thirty times faster than before the upgrade.

He said: “The increased speeds are making a huge difference for us as a family. With three adults working from home full time there’s a lot of demand on the network and before the upgrade it sometimes struggled to support our needs. If we were all online at the same time maybe on video calls or downloading files we often experienced interruptions and slowdowns which could be really frustrating. Now we can all be on separate video calls at the same time safe in the knowledge the broadband won’t let us down.

“It’s not just work where I’m feeling the benefit - I’m registered blind, and I’ve also found the faster speed is supporting my day to day living. I can now use assistive smart technology which I’d given up on with the old broadband.  Since upgrading I’ve been programming commands into Alexa devices to make sure lights are on before I go into rooms and I’m planning to exploit more assistive smart technology now that my broadband has made it possible.”

The Superfast South Yorkshire partnership builds on hundreds of thousands of South Yorkshire premises being able to access superfast broadband as a result of Openreach’s own commercial roll-out programme.

The company is now busy building ‘full fibre’ commercially across South Yorkshire, most recently in locations such as Tankersley, Maltby, Stocksbridge and Tickhill. More than 130,000 homes and business can already upgrade to ultrafast broadband speeds by placing an order with their chosen service provider.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach Partnership Director for the North, said:The Superfast South Yorkshire partnership is a great success and testament to the team.

“While Openreach engineers have worked hard to build the new network and make new technologies available our local authority partners have done an incredible job raising awareness of what’s available and getting residents and businesses excited about reaping the benefits of faster, better broadband.

“Our commercial investment across South Yorkshire also continues at pace - with more than 130,000 homes and businesses now able to access full fibre broadband on our network - and we’re determined to deliver a great service which helps South Yorkshire thrive and supports people to work from home easily, keep in touch with their loved ones and build connections and opportunities.”

Superfast South Yorkshire was formed in September 2014 as local authorities joined forces with Openreach in a £22 million deal to extend the availability of high-speed, fibre broadband. A further £4.8 million in additional funding was secured to extend the reach of fibre broadband to 99 per cent of South Yorkshire. A second £10 million contract was signed in 2018 to extend the reach of fibre broadband to almost universal levels. The project is jointly funded by the South Yorkshire Local Authorities, Sheffield Mayoral Combined Authority, the Government’s Building Digital (BDUK) and Openreach. 

You can find out more about the Superfast South Yorkshire programme, latest availability, and local plans here.