Superfast broadband for 5,000 in Staffordshire
More than 5,000 homeowners across Staffordshire have become the latest to benefit from high speed broadband.
A total of 5,350 residents in the village of Colton and Rugeley now have access to faster fibre broadband as a result of the multi-million pound Superfast Staffordshire programme.
Engineers from Openreach – BT's local network business – had to work across a deep water stream in order to lay the 13 kilometres of fibre optic cable needed to connect more than 250 homes and businesses in Colton onto the new network.
An additional 23 kilometres of fibre optic cable has been laid in Rugeley and 30 new street-side fibre cabinets have been installed, which will enable residents to access broadband download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (Mbps) and uploads of up to 20Mbps.
Work in the town centre was co-ordinated with Staffordshire County Council's highways department to minimise disruption to local traders, residents and motorists in the Horse Fair area.
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Councillor Mark Winnington, cabinet member for the economy, environment and transport, said: "Our roll-out of the Superfast Staffordshire programme means people can access fast broadband speeds for the first time and opens up opportunities in education, employment, leisure and more.
"This all means a better connected town and surrounding area for people and business."
Engineers had to negotiate Colton's deep ford off Bellamour Way to install the cable.
Steve Henderson, BT's regional broadband partnerships director, said challenges are to be expected when working in rural areas.
He added: "Challenges like the one we faced in Colton are only to be expected when we're building a complex network with engineers often working in very rural areas.
"However, our teams have the expertise and experience to deal with these sorts of things and will continue working hard to enable more and more people in the county to access the technology, often for the first time.
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"The arrival of fibre broadband means families are better connected and able to do much more online and faster than ever before."
During the Superfast Staffordshire roll-out, more than one million metres of fibre optic cable and around 500 new street-side cabinets will be installed to connect people to the new network across the county.
The programme will mean 95 per cent of homes and businesses across the county will have access to super-fast broadband by spring 2016.
Information on the projects is available at www.superfaststaffordshire.co.uk
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