Over 3,000 Surrey residents are set to receive high-speed fibre optic broadband in the New Year as BT continues to roll out the service to villages.
Superfast Surrey already provides 200 homes in Warlingham with the service and will expand to thousands more homes across the same area with Whyteleafe residents also gaining access to the service.
The rollout, handled by BT, is as a result of a £35 million deal with Surrey County Council [SCC] that will mean almost all properties in the county will be covered by the service by the conclusion of 2014.
“This investment in fibre broadband will boost the local economy, helping to create and protect local jobs in communities like Warlingham and Whyteleafe, and across the whole of Surrey. It will be of enormous benefit to local businesses as they will be able to use the faster speeds to improve their competitiveness both within the UK and abroad,” said Kim Mears, director of next generation access for Openreach, BT’s local network business.
Of the above figure the SCC has provided £20 million towards laying the cables in non-commercial areas with BT providing £13.9 million and the remaining £1.3 million through funds from Broadband Delivery UK [BDUK].
“This is great news for local businesses and residents as we continue to make Surrey the UK’s best connected county. The benefits of having high-speed internet access are huge, with an additional boost of around £30 million to Surrey's economy annually from helping firms trade online. It is also vital for all Surrey communities to have fast, reliable Internet access so they don’t get left behind,” said David Hodge, SCC leader and county councillor for Warlingham.
BDUK is already well on the way to providing the £780 million that it has been earmarked to extend super-fast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017.