Superfast broadband

THOUSANDS more homes and businesses in Fenland will be able to get superfast broadband next year.

March, Whittlesey and Wisbech are included in the latest phase of BT’s £2.5 billion fibre broadband roll-out, which could help create new businesses and hundreds of local jobs.

 BT announced today June 26 that it will be rolling out high-speed fibre broadband to another 25,000 homes and businesses in Fenland during 2013. It will take the total number for Cambridgeshire to 179,500 homes, of which 148,000 already have access.

Councillor Alan Melton, Leader of Fenland District Council, said: “This is excellent news for Fenland. Greatly improved internet access is vitally important for the whole district’s future economic development and this will give us a big boost. It should help us create hundreds of new jobs and small businesses, in particular, stand to benefit.

“Extending the superfast service to March, Wisbech and Whittlesey is a big step forward. But there is still a need to secure better provision for people living out in our villages, many of whom have comparatively poor access to services and information.

“It is important that our rural communities show that they, too, want the faster service. The greater level of demand for broadband that they can demonstrate, the better the chance that they will get it.

“People can register their demand online by visiting www.connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk or by returning a Freepost reply form available in libraries and our one-stop shops. “

Fenland District Council is a part of the Connecting Cambridgeshire project aiming to bring better broadband to at least 90 per cent of homes and businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, with better connectivity for all remaining premises by 2015.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates, Cabinet member for Growth and Planning, said: “This announcement for the north of the county complements the work we are doing through Connecting Cambridgeshire to bring better broadband to help our businesses and communities to thrive.

“Over 8,000 people have already registered to show their demand for better broadband across the county, but many more are needed to show suppliers the demand, particularly in rural areas such as Fenland.”

Connecting Cambridgeshire is working with local councils and community groups to build a network of digital champions across the county to support the campaign. A Digital Champions pack of useful materials and links can be obtained by emailing your contact details to contact@connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk