Getting connected - new superfast broadband fibre cabinets go live in Wycombe district
Over 300 homes and businesses in Bledlow Ridge can now benefit from superfast broadband, thanks to the installation of four new fibre cabinets funded by Wycombe District Council through the Connected Counties programme.
The “switch on” in Bledlow Ridge brings the total of new fibre cabinets in the Wycombe district to eight, covering areas in Naphill, Bourne End and some premises in High Wycombe town area. A recent cabinet switch on in Stoke Mandeville has also benefited some properties in the Kimble area. Work is being planned for a further 39 fibre cabinets, with more to be programmed as survey work is carried out by Openreach.
Cllr Katrina Wood, Leader of Wycombe District Council, said: “Connected Counties is a large scale infrastructure project contract across Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire with Openreach. It has taken two years of close working with partners to get funding in place to extend the contract and we are delighted delivery is underway. We have invested £860,000 into extending superfast broadband provision within our district – this has been match funded by Broadband Delivery UK, doubling the impact that can be achieved on the ground in our communities.”
The Connected Counties programme has six delivery phases in Bucks, starting this autumn and running through to December 2019. It is anticipated that around 4,500 premises across Wycombe district will be positively impacted, contributing to a total of around 12,000 premises across Bucks as a whole. Additional investment into the Wycombe district, targeted at business areas, has also been make by the Buckinghamshire and Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership - Buckinghamshire County Council have also re-invested money from contract one.
Cllr Steven Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, added: “Broadband is our fourth utility. We know that our local economy has a high number of micro businesses trying to work from home; we know we have people that travel out of the district who want to be able to work from home; and we know that some kids can’t access their homework because of poor provision. Being able to put funding to the Connected Counties project is something the council is proud to support – especially as this is targeting provision in the most rural areas of our district.”
Carl Etholen, district and county councillor for the Bledlow and Bradenham area and Stephen Reading, Chairman of Bledlow-cum-Saunderton Parish Council were also delighted that the roll out of superfast broadband has now started with new fibre cabinets in Bledlow Ridge.
Stephen Reading said: “In 2016 the Parish Council carried out a survey and found that 40% of people work from home for at least part of each week, so a good broadband service is essential both to the local economy and the wellbeing of the community. Having fibre extended into Bledlow Ridge is also going to help the village school to upgrade their technology to continue to deliver excellent teaching.”
As in other areas, Bledlow-cum-Saunderton Parish Council has set up a broadband working group to help identify interim solutions for those that will get service later in the Connected Counties roll out, or may not be covered by this programme. This includes 4G and expanding the line of sight wireless broadband service that has been operating from Bledlow Church since March 2017.
To find out if your home or businesses is part of the Connected Counties programme, please visit http://www.connectedcounties.org
and check the where and when tab.