More than 50,000 households and businesses across Shropshire now have access to faster fibre broadband as a result of Connecting Shropshire, partners Shropshire Council and BT announced today.
Among the latest communities to benefit are: Atcham, Burlton, Childs Ercall, Norton, Wistanstow and Worthen, where households and firms are now able to access high-speed fibre broadband for the first time.
One of many local businesses already reaping the benefits of upgrading to faster fibre broadband is Brompton Cookery School and Brompton Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast, located between Cross Houses and Wroxeter.
Celebrity chef, Marcus Bean, and his wife, Jenny, who run the business, said the quality and reliability of their broadband had improved greatly since upgrading to a fibre service.
Marcus said: "Both the download and upload speeds are much faster than before, even though we’re about a kilometre from the new fibre cabinet in Cross Houses.
"Because of our remote location it’s essential for us to have an online presence, which serves as our shop window to the world. A reliable broadband connection allows us to maintain our two websites* more quickly and easily, making us more competitive and appealing to our customers.
Jenny said: "We weren’t sure about making the switch to fibre broadband to start with and had concerns about the possible impact on business continuity of a change in service. However, when we looked into it, we realised it was going to be significantly cheaper than our previous business broadband service so we just bit the bullet – and have never looked back!"
Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council Cabinet member responsible for broadband, said: "It’s great to see how faster fibre broadband is benefitting more local businesses and households across the county, as well as important sectors like tourism.
"However, while this milestone marks a great achievement, we are fully aware that there is still work to be done to bring fibre broadband to the most hard-to-reach parts of Shropshire, and we are absolutely committed to achieving this."
Colin Bannon, BT’s regional director for the West Midlands, said: "The Connecting Shropshire roll-out is progressing well and our project teams are working hard to bring the benefits of the new technology to more communities as quickly as possible.
"When combined with our commercial roll-out, more than 164,000 households and businesses across the whole of Shropshire, including Telford and Wrekin, can now access faster fibre broadband."
People wanting to find out if fibre broadband is available in their area should enter their phone number or postcode in the checker on the Connecting Shropshire website: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/when-and-where/
Residents and businesses wanting to upgrade should contact their chosen broadband service provider – the broadband speeds don’t increase automatically.