Fibre broadband reaches half of Lancashire

More than half of Lancashire homes and businesses are now able to access high-speed fibre broadband.

The rapid progress of the Superfast Lancashire project means that more than half (52 per cent) of the county can now get access to high-speed fibre broadband when BT’s commercial roll-out of fibre broadband is also taken into account. This takes the total number of premises passed with fibre across the county to date to more than 350,000.

Engineers have also begun planning and building the next phase of the Superfast Lancashire project – providing a further 21,500 homes and businesses with access to superfast broadband by the end of March.

Once this phase of the roll out is complete, this will take the total number of premises able to access faster broadband as a direct result of the project to more than 39,000, with tens of thousands of more premises to follow over the coming year under subsequent phases of the roll out.

As part of this latest deployment, 10 communities beyond the reach of commercial fibre will now have access to superfast broadband for the first time as a result of the project. The Superfast Lancashire project aims to extend high-speed broadband to 97 per cent of the county’s homes and businesses by the end of 2015.

Communities being connected in this latest phase include; Earby, Kelbrook, Foulridge, Trawden, Wilpshire, Langho and Old Langho, Mellor, Hest Bank, Freckleton and Warton.

This latest phase will also see substantial investment to extend access to faster broadband in a number of Lancashire communities where fibre is already available, including around 1,200 premises in Bacup and a further 10,000 premises in Blackpool.

To date, the project has completed work on over 130 new fibre broadband cabinets with a further 100 built or in progress.

County councillor Sean Serridge, champion for digital inclusion at Lancashire County Council, said: “This is a great achievement and shows we are well on the way to achieving our goal of providing 97 per cent of the county with superfast broadband by the end of next year.

“Superfast broadband is hugely important for the county both economically and socially. There can be few areas of modern life which are not touched in some way by broadband connectivity – whether it’s supporting how we work, how we learn, how we communicate with friends and family, or how we entertain ourselves.”

Superfast Lancashire is a partnership between Lancashire County Council and BT, with additional funding from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK, as well as the European Regional Development Fund, Blackburn with Darwen Council and Blackpool. In addition to the roll-out of high-speed broadband across the county, a Business Support Centre has opened as part of Superfast Lancashire and is run by a team of specialists to advise small and medium-sized businesses across the county how to use the new technology to enhance their business.