First phase of Superfast South Yorkshire completes

From Openreach communications

Speed boost for 95,000 homes and businesses as first phase of Superfast South Yorkshire completes

 Superfast South Yorkshire (SFSY) today celebrated the successful completion of their £27 million contract to deliver faster broadband to residents and businesses across South Yorkshire.

Nearly 95,000 businesses and residents can now access superfast speeds as a result of the Superfast South Yorkshire programme – a partnership between the four South Yorkshire local authorities, Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, UK Government and Openreach.

The upgrades have been well received, with more than half (55,000) of the newly enabled homes and businesses signing up for a service so far.

In addition to the success of the first phase of the roll-out, a second phase will see almost 10,000 more homes and businesses upgraded, with the majority set to benefit from Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology, capable of blistering speeds of up to 1Gbps (Gigabit per second). 1

Minister for Digital and Broadband, Matt Warman, said: “It is fantastic to see that nearly 95,000 residents and businesses in South Yorkshire are now reaping the benefits of superfast speeds. Connectivity is high on the UK Government’s agenda. We want to deliver world-class, gigabit-capable broadband across the country as soon as possible and have already committed more than £650 million for full fibre roll-out.”

The team celebrated this huge achievement by visiting local businesses already benefitting from ultrafast broadband speeds including Delta Adhesives who manufacture and sell own-brand and bespoke industrial adhesives and sealants.

Peter Atkinson, Managing Director of Delta Adhesives, said, ‘We had very slow speeds of around 4Mbps which made uploading and downloading data very difficult.  We had limited capacity to issue electronic invoices and often had to send them by post which was both expensive and time-consuming. Online banking was also a nightmare to use, often freezing or crashing which made us very reluctant to use it.

“Having FTTP has enabled us to develop our IT systems and use them to their full potential.  We’ve moved to an integrated VOIP telephony system which means as soon as a customer calls us their account is immediately accessible.  We’ve also tightened security by improving our on-site and off-site back-up and business continuity arrangements and enhancing our premises alarm systems.

“We are currently re-building our website and can easily email brochures, product guides and price lists now and we will be saying goodbye to the franking machine!  I would definitely recommend FTTP to other businesses.”

Project partners:

  • Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Sheffield City Council
  • Doncaster Council
  • Rotherham Council
  • Sheffield City Region LEP
  • UK Government
  • Openreach

The UK Fibre Programme is a Government initiative, which aims to improve broadband and digital communications infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, this investment will support businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio comprises five linked programmes:

  • The Local Full Fibre Networks Programme (LFFN) includes challenge fund projects in which BDUK provide capital funding for Anchor Tenancy, Asset Reuse and Public Sector Building upgrades. The programme includes £287 million funding.
  • BDUK also support a voucher scheme which is focused on connecting residents and small and medium sized businesses. This is a demand led initiative. In March 2018 BDUK announced a £67m Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, and in May 2019 another voucher iteration was made available, targeting rural businesses and residents. Find out more at  https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/
  • The Rural Gigabit Connectivity Programme (RGCP) is testing connecting public sector buildings as ‘hub sites’ such as schools and hospitals in rural areas. The programme is supported by £200 million funding. The Rural Voucher, described above, is closely associated with this programme.
  • The £780m Superfast Broadband Programme delivered access to superfast provision to 95% of the UK by 2017. The remainder of the programme will prioritise full-fibre connections. Delivery of the programme is led by local bodies in England and the devolved Administrations.
  • The 700MHz clearance programme is a government funded programme to clear airwaves in the 700MHz spectrum band, currently used for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) and PMSE (Programme Makers and Special Events) services. Once cleared the airwaves will be available for future mobile broadband services. The changes will be rolled out across different regions nationally and the programme is due to be complete by the summer of 2020.

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