SEVERAL businesses in Malvern will be the first to benefit from a new multi-million pound Superfast broadband connection, it has been announced.
Premises at the town’s Enigma Business Park on Maple Road are to set enjoy Superfast Worcestershire, the partnership between Worcestershire County Council and BT, which will enable more than 50,000 homes and businnesses across the county access new fibre technology.
The new connnection, costing £20million, will see more than 700 kilometres of fibre optic cable and more than 300 new street-side cabinets deployed across the county – delivered in eight different phases.
The first phase of the Superfast Worcestershire deployment will be carried out between April and September this year.
The scheme was officially launched last summer and aims to ensure more than 90 per cent of homes and businesses in the county have access to fibre broadband in the next three years.
Surveying work will get underway in other areas of the town which are not part of the first phase of deployment. The surveys will determine which areas will benefit during the second phase taking place between October and December.
Malvern MP Harriett Baldwin, who has been a long-time campaigner for broadband in her constiuent towns and villages, welcomed the news.
“I know my constituents are eagerly awaiting this superfast fibre rollout and it will help the rural economy make the most of 21st Century technology,” she said.
“BT has nearly completed the commercial roll-out in Malvern and this timetable will begin to add in the villages and business parks that need taxpayer subsidy.”
Coun Simon Geraghty, responsible for economy and infrastructure at Worcestershire County Council, said the new technology was great news for Worcestershire.
“Superfast broadband is vital for the future success and competitiveness of our businesses and will boost our residents’ experience online – helping them to do more and more via the internet,” he added.
“For local businesses, the fibre network will help underpin the introduction of many new services and applications and will increase their opportunities for economic growth, a vital component to keep the county open for business.
“We believe Superfast Worcestershire is the only programme of its kind in the UK to put an emphasis on reaching at least 90 per cent of the county’s business premises – recognising the county council’s Open for Business strategic priority.”
The announcement coincided with the launch of the new Superfast Worcestershire website – www.superfastworcestershire.com – where people and businesses can find out more information about the connection and which areas it is available to.