The pace of life in one North Oxfordshire village is set to speed up following a major fibre broadband boost.
Steeple Aston residents, businesses, children and community groups were joined by Victoria Prentis MP on Friday 15 July to celebrate even more of the village getting better access to the information superhighway.
The historic village is the first community in Cherwell to benefit from the second phase of the multi-million pound Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme.
The roll-out, which is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, is led by Oxfordshire County Council and BT, supported by Cherwell District Council, South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEM LEP) and OxLEP (Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership).
Eighty-five premises in Steeple Aston have benefited from the recent upgrade work. This means more than 500 homes and businesses in the village are now able to access high-speed fibre broadband as a result of the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme.
The news was welcomed by Victoria Prentis MP during a visit to see first-hand how the roll-out was progressing.
Victoria Prentis MP said: “I know how important a good internet connection can be to homes and businesses. It is great that more of my constituents are getting access to high speed broadband which is increasingly used by people of all ages. It is clear that there is still more work to be done as there are still many properties and businesses without access to this important infrastructure.
“Better Broadband for Oxfordshire has done great work so far, and I look forward to welcoming more progress in the future. I have no doubt that the residents of Steeple Aston will love using this new service.”
The arrival of faster fibre broadband has been welcomed by Graham Porcas, who has been running his two businesses – Proma Machinery Ltd and Plasmatreat Ltd – from his home office in Steeple Aston for more than 10 years.
He said: “Good broadband access has been vital to enable me to do this successfully and, with the increasing use of internet-based services requiring more reliable connection and higher speeds, I am very pleased to now be connected to fibre.”
Councillor Michael Waine, Chairman of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “I’m delighted to see another Oxfordshire community able to connect to faster broadband speeds as our roll-out continues at pace with our Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme. This is about improving opportunities for learning, leisure, employment and access to services for people in Oxfordshire.”
Stacey King, BT’s regional manager for Oxfordshire and the South East said: “The roll-out of fibre broadband across Oxfordshire is progressing well and reaching increasingly more remote parts of the county. When combined with BT’s own investment, the total number of premises in Oxfordshire able to access fibre broadband is more than 274,000.
“Every day we’re hearing how the technology is changing people’s lives for the better. Whether it’s giving people the flexibility to work from home or families wanting to connect several devices to the internet at the same time for online shopping, homework, hobbies, streaming videos and music – everything is easier, better and faster with fibre broadband.”
Residents and businesses can follow the progress of the roll-out via the project website: http://www.betterbroadbandoxfordshire.org.uk