Superfast Staffordshire achieves nearly 96% of connectivity target

Local coverage of FTTC/P-based superfast broadband networks with speeds of above 24Mbps have been extended to 95.7 per cent of the premises with the Superfast Staffordshire project - just shy of the 96 per cent or more target goal for the end of 2018.

A total state aid support of £32m+ deployment claims assisted the achievement of faster connectivity for an additional 75,000 premises in 300 communities.

The latest communities to be provided coverage include Adderley, Caverswall Common, Kingsley Moor and The Boundary near Cheadle in the Staffordshire Moorlands; Bishop’s Offley and Wootton near Eccleshall; Dunkirk near Newcastle; Coton-in-the-Clay, Hanbury Woodend, Leese Hill and Lower Loxley, Marchington Cliff and Forest Road, Wootton near Ellasatone in East Staffordshire; Ivestey Bank, Lower Penn and Patshull Park in South Staffordshire; Morston Court in Cannock Chase and Blithbury.

Staffs Economic Growth Leader, Councillor Mark Winnington said: “In just four years we have seen a huge transformation in Staffordshire by ensuring that tens of thousands of properties have the ability to connect to superfast broadband - making a big difference to people’s day to day living. The Superfast Staffordshire programme is a top priority to the county council as it supports independent living, opens up opportunities and boosts economic growth and prosperity.

“We are of course determined now to continue our drive to find solutions for the final five per cent of properties. We’re using a combination of technologies and co-funding solutions to ensure even residents and businesses in the smallest, most remote parts of our county have access to this essential technology.”

In terms of next steps, recent council meeting documents appeared to suggest that there are plans to extend superfast broadband coverage to 98 per cent of the premises. An Open Market Review (OMR) has already been conducted and has identified network coverage and slow spots up to 2021. However, a firm outlook is yet to be determined, with potential decisions to be made in October.

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