Terrific team work helps pave the way for high-speed broadband in centre of Whitchurch
Owen Paterson MP has praised the collaborative working which has enabled hundreds more businesses and residents in Whitchurch to get faster fibre broadband.
The MP for North Shropshire has been working with the local community and Openreach – the business responsible for Britain’s largest telephone and broadband network – to overcome some unusual technical challenges.
Owen Paterson said: “Finding the right location for the two new fibre broadband cabinets was proving particularly difficult because of the amount of street furniture in this part of the town centre.
“By working together, Openreach and local people were able to come up with a solution and the installation work was completed by the engineers for the benefit of the community.”
Clive Selley, Openreach’s chief executive, who visited the area earlier this year, joined Owen Paterson, the Mayor of Whitchurch, councillors and businesses for today’s official ‘switch-on’.
Now around 450 more premises in the centre of Whitchurch are able to upgrade, with some already reaping the benefits of faster download and upload speeds. The upgrade work is part of Openreach’s £11 billion investment in its open wholesale broadband network. People need to contact their service providers to order the faster services now available.
Will Weston, who runs Galaxy Computer Services in High Street, couldn’t wait for his superfast fibre upgrade.
He said: “Having high-speed broadband is absolutely vital for a business like ours. Because of the services we provide, we can be working on as many as 10 computers at any one time, so downloading can be really slow. We hope getting superfast fibre broadband will make us more productive and efficient and help us to provide an even better service for our customers.”
Clive Selley said: “Every day we’re seeing how fibre broadband technology is changing people’s lives for the better, which is why we’re working hard to ensure more households and businesses have access to it – in Shropshire and elsewhere.
“It’s been great to visit Shropshire again and to witness first-hand the tremendous progress being made and to see how we might be able to work together to help extend the reach of this vital technology still further.”
Across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin more than 218,000 households and businesses can now access faster fibre broadband as a result of public sector partnerships or private sector investment by companies like Openreach, with around 198,000 of them getting superfast speeds of 24Mbps and above.
The switch-on in Whitchurch was followed by a visit to Wistanswick, where Owen Paterson and Clive Selley met residents and businesses set to benefit from the multi-million pound Connecting Shropshire programme, which is being led by Shropshire Council and Openreach as part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.
They also saw engineers at work on the roll-out and Owen Paterson was given the opportunity to try his hand at splicing some optical fibre cable.
Notes to editors
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Openreach is Britain’s digital network business.
We’re 30,400 people who connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses - large and small - to the world.
Our mission is to build the best possible network, with the highest quality service, making sure that everyone in Britain can be connected.
We work on behalf of more than 580 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and BT, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 26.5 million premises. We’re also the platform for Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest in the G20.
We’re working hard to give people the speeds they need to run and enjoy their daily lives. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £11 billion into our network and we now manage more than 158 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, from Wales to the east coast. And we’re continuing to take that network further - making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.
Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group, and it is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of our revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom.
Any company can access our products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions.
For the year ended 31 March 2017, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.
For more information, visitopenreach.co.uk
Openreach is Britain’s digital network business. That means we connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses – large and small – to the world. It’s our mission to build the best possible network with the highest quality service, and make sure that everyone in Britain can be connected.
Our 30,400 people work on behalf of more than 580 communications providers like Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and BT. Our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, covering more than 26.8 million premises. And our technology is the basis of Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest of the G20 countries.
We’re working hard to give people the broadband speeds they need at work and at home. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £11bn into our network. And we now manage more than 158 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, and from Wales to the east coast. But we’re not stopping there – we’re making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.
We’re owned by BT Group and independently governed. Our business is highly regulated, and more than 90 per cent of our revenue comes from services that are regulated by Ofcom. Any company can access our products under the same prices, terms and conditions.
In the year ending 31 March 2017, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.
To find out more about us and what we do, go to openreach.co.uk.