30 July 2015

Highfield in Sheffield is the first location in the city to benefit from the multi-million pound Superfast South Yorkshire programme as high-speed fibre broadband arrived five months ahead of schedule.

A further 57 cabinets will be switched on in other parts of Sheffield, including Upperthorpe, Norfolk Park and Burngreave, bringing the new technology in reach of a further 9,000 homes and businesses during the first phase of the Superfast South Yorkshire programme which will complete by the end of this year. In total more than 43,000 homes and businesses in Sheffield are set to benefit by the end of the 2017.

To mark the switching on of the first Superfast South Yorkshire cabinet in Sheffield members of the team joined Councillor Ian Saunders for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new cabinet.

Leigh Bramall, deputy leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “Today’s launch is good news for people living and working across Sheffield. Investing in superfast broadband will open up new business and leisure opportunities, as well as improving access to services for residents.

“We know that some businesses suffer from poor internet speeds so it’s important we worked to find a solution. Whether people want to stay in touch with family and friends online, or work from home just as effectively as from the office, superfast broadband will provide real benefits.

“Here in Sheffield, we are putting a great deal of work into helping businesses to start up, grow and thrive. Investing in superfast broadband is a key part of this, and I am pleased that this project has reached this important milestone.”

Digital Economy Minister, Ed Vaizey, said: “I’m delighted that the Superfast South Yorkshire programme is off to such a great start, with the first cabinets going live five months ahead of schedule.

“Our nationwide rollout of superfast broadband is now reaching another 40,000 homes and businesses every week, and we are on track to reach 95 per cent of the UK by 2017.”

In September last year South Yorkshire joined forces with BT in a £22 million pound deal to extend the availability of high-speed, fibre broadband to around 981 per cent of homes and businesses in the city region.

The project is jointly by BT, the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) fund and the four South Yorkshire local authorities of Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster.

The project will build upon BT’s commercial roll-out which is already making fibre broadband available more than 451,000 homes and businesses across South Yorkshire.

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said: “Fibre broadband enables everyone to do things differently and better.

“For some it’s a leap of faith to switch from first generation broadband to the new fibre optic technology, but as those local people who are already using it will testify, upgrading is easy and worth doing for a far superior experience.

“The Openreach network is open to all broadband service providers – which helps to drive competition and affordable prices. In fact, fibre broadband is now almost the same price as basic broadband so I would urge anyone who can get fibre to place an order from their internet provider superfast.”

The majority of South Yorkshire premises will be getting access to some of the best broadband speeds boosting the competitiveness of local firms and offering new ways of flexible working, entertainment and learning opportunities for local residents.

Fibre broadband enables multiple users in a home or business to access the internet, more quickly than ever before. The benefits of faster broadband speeds for businesses are considerable and include faster file and data transfers, better access to cloud computing services and software, more sophisticated web-based contact with customers and support for more flexible working.

The increased speeds are also of great value to families. Everyone in the family can do their own thing online, all at the same time, whether it’s downloading music in minutes or watching catch-up TV; streaming HD or 3D movies in a few minutes; or posting photos and videos to social networking sites in seconds. It will also improve access to new job opportunities, and make it easier to shop around for services.

The high-speed network installed by BT’s local network business, Openreach, is available on an open, wholesale basis to all communication providers, therefore offering South Yorkshire households and businesses the benefit of real choice from a highly competitive market.

For further information on the Superfast South Yorkshire programme visit http://www.superfastsouthyorkshire.co.uk