MORE than 50 Malvern businesses are among the first to benefit from a £20million project to make high-speed broadband available across Worcestershire.
A new road-side cabinet was officially ‘switched on’ at the Enigma Business Park by Malvern MP Harriett Baldwin on Friday (May 30) meaning 56 firms in the area can now access download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second.
At the same time another fibre broadband cabinet went live in nearby Leigh Sinton Road which could see 79 households experience the faster speeds.
It is the first part of the multi-million pound Superfast Worcestershire project backed by a partnership of Worcestershire County Council, BT and Broadband Delivery UK.
The scheme aims to bring high speed broadband to 90 per cent of homes and businesses in the county by 2016.
Now the first cabinets have been switched on the message to residents and traders is ‘sign up’ in order to receive the benefits.
Malvern business LGG Charlesworth LTD has already endorsed the project after a sister company became ‘more effective and efficient’ thanks to the higher operating speed.
Following the switch-on County Coun Simon Geraghty, cabinet member from economy, skills and infrastructure, said: “We recognise how important high-speed fibre broadband is for our businesses and Worcestershire’s future economy.
“We have therefore focused on making high-speed broadband available to business premises as well as to Worcestershire’s homes.
“To this end, we have worked to ensure that the first cabinets to go live from the partnership will serve not only residents but also a key business location, Enigma Business Park, where we know the availability of high-speed broadband will help successful businesses to continue to compete and grow.
“It is yet another reason for businesses to locate here. This is great news and a taste of what is to come around the county.”
Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, described the the event as an ‘important step forward’ for the project, while Mrs Baldwin added: “The Superfast Worcestershire project will upgrade many more homes and businesses over the coming months and I look forward to celebrating the connection of other cabinets in my constituency.
“I continue to urge local people to register their interest in superfast broadband by visiting the Superfast Worcestershire website and ensuring the project managers see where people need better connections most.”
People can visit www.superfastworcestershire.com to sign up and find out more about high speed broadband.