MP's call to register interest in better broadband

By Barrie Hudson - 20 November 2020

Community

South Swindon MP Robert Buckland is leading a call for people and firms in Wanborough and Chiseldon to register their interest in BT Openreach Fibre Broadband - and Government funding.

  • Mr Buckland wants as many local people as possible to take advantage of the scheme

    Mr Buckland wants as many local people as possible to take advantage of the scheme

Alongside councillors Gary Sumner Jenny Jeffries and Brian Mattock, he is flagging up the Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme, under which every eligible rural home can get a voucher worth £1500.
For small businesses, the figure is up to £3500.

Mr Buckland said: “Following many meetings between myself, Cllr Gary Sumner and BT Openreach, we are pleased to announce that eligible residents in Wanborough and Chiseldon are now able to register their interest in Openreach Fibre Broadband, utilising Government funding.

“Along with Cllr Gary Sumner, Cllr Jenny Jeffries and Cllr Brian Mattock, I am pleased that this option is now available after we have championed the issue of behalf of many local residents.”

The MP and councillors would like to see as many residents as possible register their interest at https://www.openreach.com/connectmycommunity

The Government announced in September that more than £22 million of additional funding would be invested in the broadband voucher scheme, which subsidises the costs of bringing gigabit-capable broadband networks to hard-to-reach areas.

Gigabit-capable broadband enables internet download speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second (mbps) - enough to download a HD movie in less than 30 seconds and lay the foundations for 8K-quality video streaming and virtual reality online gaming.

This new frontier in digital connectivity has the potential to revolutionise rural communities and make them more attractive places to live. It will give people who depend on reliable connections to work from home and keep in touch with family due to coronavirus, the freedom to live and work more flexibly, and will help develop thriving digital economies.

Almost 500,000 premises across the UK have been given access to gigabit-capable broadband since summer 2018 through a £1 billion UK Government funding commitment until the end of 2021.

Combined with industry investment it means 8 million premises can now access gigabit capable broadband compared to around 1.4 million premises two years ago.

Nearly 45,000 gigabit broadband vouchers, worth more than £90 million, have already been issued and there is more than £70 million worth of vouchers on offer immediately to take companies and residents in rural towns and villages out of the digital slow lane.

On top of this, the Government has promised £5 billion to ensure hard-to-reach areas get access to gigabit connections over the next few years. 

 

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