First village benefits from Superfast broadband rollout

Residents in a picturesque Lancashire village have become the first rural community in the county to benefit from the multi-million pound Superfast Lancashire project.

Superfast Lancashire will bring high-speed broadband to 97 per cent of the county’s homes and businesses by the end of 2015.

Haslingden and Hyndburn MP Graham Jones, said: “The fact that a rural community like Belthorn is among the first to benefit from this partnership demonstrates the collective determination to get this exciting technology to local villages.

Delighted landlord Nicholas Parker, who runs the Dog Inn, said: “We offer free Wi-Fi to customers but with the current connections the service is a bit hit and miss. With fibre we plan to offer a wireless hub for business customers to hold meetings, a sports hub so fans can watch games on their hand-held devices, and an entertainment hub to keep the youngsters occupied watching a film, playing online games or using social media - all at the same time. I believe this service will be a huge benefit to us and cannot wait to get it up and running.”

Finance director Ian Billing, said: “We’re expanding and have customers around the world from China to South America. Having superfast broadband will help us to compete with larger businesses, in this global marketplace, on an equal footing.

“With fibre we can have staff working remotely or from home, which will save on travel time and costs. Increasingly, customers don’t want the time and expense of travel either and, with fibre broadband, we can look at communicating more with customers online via Skype and video conferencing.”

The Openreach network is open to all communications providers on an equal wholesale basis, so residents will be able to choose from a number of different suppliers of fibre broadband. 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 Council.

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