MORE than 2,500 homes and businesses in two Chester villages will soon have access to “economy-boosting” superfast internet access.
The £28.5 million Connecting Cheshire partnership has announced its new fibre-optic network will be rolled out to 750 premises in Tattenhall and 1,800 in Christleton.
The move, which also includes 1,900 properties in Weaverham, marks the first phase of the project, aimed at providing 15,000 premises with superfast broadband.
Cllr Bob Rudd, deputy lord mayor of Chester and deputy chairman of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “I am delighted thousands more premises in West Cheshire can now benefit from fibre broadband.
“This is fantastic news for residents and businesses alike, and I look forward to seeing more and more communities become connected as we continue the roll-out of this truly transformational project.”
Superfast broadband is seen as vital to businesses that rely on swift communication with suppliers and customers over the internet.
Julian Cobley, project director of the Connecting Cheshire Project, said the network would boost the local economy, helping to create and protect local jobs.
He said: “Access to high-speed internet has never been more important, whether you are a small business wishing to build your company, a student taking advantage of online learning resources or a family making use of online shopping and entertainment. In today’s rapidly-moving world, fast and sophisticated communications are absolutely vital.”
A recent study for Cheshire, Warrington and Halton estimated full coverage of superfast broadband would boost their economies by up to £13 billion over the next 15 years. The service could also create 11,500 jobs, with a further £330m of economic benefits to households.
Connecting Cheshire, a partnership between BT and Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Halton and Warrington Councils, aims to reach 80,000 homes and businesses with fibre broadband.
This is in addition to BT’s commercial investment in fibre across Cheshire, Halton and Warrington, so that by the end of 2015 a total of 400,000 premises – about 96 per cent – will have access to high-speed broadband.
Residents and businesses can check availability of fibre broadband by contacting their broadband provider or by visiting the Connecting Cheshire website: www.connectingcheshire.org.uk
See full story in the Chester Leader