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Major broadband upgrade for thousands of rural properties in Oxfordshire and North East Staffordshire

  • Around 16,000 homes and businesses in hard-to-reach areas across Oxfordshire and North East Staffordshire will get a lightning-fast broadband upgrade
  • Government funding of £43 million will accelerate the roll-out of next generation connectivity to thousands of local businesses and people, with more efforts due in the spring
  • The cash boost will help upgrade rural and remote communities, boost public services and spur economic growth

Thousands of people across rural areas of Oxfordshire and North East Staffordshire will benefit from new lightning-fast broadband thanks to £43m of UK government funding, in a move aimed at tackling long-standing challenges limits that hard-working people and businesses face in the UK.

Backed by £26.5 million, around 10,000 homes and businesses in Oxfordshire rural communities including Stoke Row, Somerton and North Aston will benefit from fast and reliable broadband connections trust. Meanwhile, £16.5 million will see around 6,000 rural properties in North East Staffordshire including Longnor, Marchington and Alstonefield receive internet speeds 30 times faster than superfast broadband.

With gigabit-capable broadband, these households will no longer have to struggle with limited bandwidth and businesses will be able to improve their productivity without network-related disruptions. old copper, helping to build a more dynamic economy that brings prosperity in all fields. a corner of the country. Having the fastest connections also means the UK is fit for the future, with broadband infrastructure designed to meet people’s needs for decades to come.

The investment is part of the government’s £5 billion Project Gigabit, which aims to ensure everyone has equal access to high-speed broadband wherever they live, work and study. From the Midlands to the South East of England, work will now be carried out to survey thousands of premises in villages and rural communities, with on-ground surveys expected to take place next spring .

Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure, Sir John Whittingdale, said:

We want to ensure that no matter where you live or work, everyone has reliable Internet access, which is why we’re spending billions to upgrade local networks.

In rural Oxfordshire and North East Staffordshire, thousands of people will experience the positive impact of fast and reliable broadband as their connectivity improves, supporting households and businesses, promote growth and increase productivity.

Work will now begin in these areas covering around 16,000 properties and by facilitating the fastest connections we will not only reap the benefits now but also position the Kingdom UK in a future where our broadband infrastructure remains resilient for decades to come.

Rural full fiber provider Gigaclear will roll out high-speed connectivity to premises across North and South Oxfordshire, including Nettlebed and Fritwell, to transform broadband speeds and reliability for people local people.

To promote local schools and colleges as part of the investment, Gigaclear has committed to providing skills workshops and apprenticeships to a range of candidates in the local community to help them start their careers. career in the telecommunications industry.

Today’s announcement builds on the work Gigaclear has done in the region, connecting 25 critical public service buildings including schools, health centers, libraries and fire stations to capable networks. gigabit as part of the government’s Project Gigabit GigaHubs program. Working in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council, high-speed connectivity will help improve the delivery of public services across the county. For example, GPs will be able to provide remote video consultations and entire classes of students can be online at the same time without interruption.

Gigaclear CEO Gareth Williams said:

I welcome the awards of these contracts as they reinforce Gigaclear’s important role in helping the Government achieve its ambitions for wider broadband roll-out.

We have invested more than £70 million to expand our network to many of the borough’s rural communities and once these contracts are delivered, Gigaclear will deliver new Gigabit fiber connections to more than 85,000 residents. residents and businesses in rural Oxfordshire.

Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, Councilor Liz Leffman said:

We are delighted that local company Gigaclear has been awarded the Project Gigabit contract to deliver full fiber broadband to thousands of homes and businesses in Oxfordshire.

This public sector investment in digital infrastructure is vital to upgrading areas where commercial capital alone is not enough to secure the funds needed to undertake this build-out.

The project fits in well with all the work the council’s digital infrastructure program is doing, such as the GigaHubs project which has secured a full fiber connection to Wychwood library where we are today”.

In North East Staffordshire, Connect Fiber will be responsible for rolling out full fiber broadband to those currently struggling with slow speeds, in places such as Longnor, Marchington and Alstonefield.

Local people will further benefit from Connect Fiber’s commitment to developing community initiatives that promote regional wellbeing, by providing free gigabit connectivity to Mail locations Staffordshire Institute and Staffordshire Community Learning.

Connect Fiber CEO Stefan Stanislawski said:

Connect Fiber is extremely proud and honored to have been awarded the Project Gigabit contract to deliver full fiber broadband to the Staffordshire Moorlands and beyond. Delivering true, reliable broadband will change the lives of people living in rural areas and across the region.

With a smart farming program and free gigabit connectivity for library and community learning sites, our commitment to supporting communities goes beyond broadband. We are excited to embark on this journey and look forward to witnessing the positive impact it will have on the people of the region.

Simon Tagg, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for environment, infrastructure and climate change, said:

Access to gigabit-capable broadband speeds is essential for our communities and businesses, so it’s great to see this reach extended by Connect Fiber through Project Gigabit.

Faster broadband improves people’s daily lives, giving them access to healthcare, education, banking, entertainment and more. It is also important for business performance, growth and increased productivity. Our Superfast Staffordshire program has been hugely successful and made a real difference over the last decade – now gigabit-capable connectivity is the next step.

Across the UK, gigabit coverage has increased rapidly in recent years – from one in 10 households in 2019 to almost eight in 10 today. These latest Project Gigabit contracts are called Building Digital UK (BDUK), which reports that 929,700 premises in mostly hard-to-reach areas of the UK now have access to gigabit connections thanks to investment by government.


Notes to editors

  • Project Gigabit is the government’s flagship £5 billion program to enable hard-to-reach communities to access lightning-fast gigabit-capable broadband
  • The facilities to be achieved under these contracts may change according to the supplier’s detailed plans or for technical reasons throughout the contract term *BDUK has awarded supplier Gigaclear a contract worth £26.5 million to provide around 10,000 premises in North and South Oxfordshire with gigabit-capable broadband access
  • BDUK has awarded supplier Connect Fiber a £16.5 million contract to provide around 6,000 premises in North East Staffordshire with gigabit-capable broadband access
  • The Oxfordshire Gigahubs project is co-funded by BDUK and Oxfordshire County Council as well as other funding partners

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