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Multi-million pound csw broadband programme announces timetable for next 12 months

Press release   •   Mar 24, 2014 00:00 GMT

High speed broadband programme moves up a gear during 2014 as work begins in nine more areas of Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire 
CSW Broadband has today released a 12-month plan outlining the next exchange areas where people will be able to start accessing faster fibre broadband during the coming year. 

The plan also gives details for the first time of the locations of the new super-fast broadband cabinets that will ‘go live’ during the initial three months of the project, from April onwards. These areas to benefit from the project first were announced last month.* 

The new street-side structures are needed to connect people onto the new fibre optic network. More information about these latest developments is available on the project website: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk 

The new exchange areas announced today include: Bidford on Avon, Coleshill, Curdworth, Harbury, Hurley, Lapworth, Moreton Morrell, Newton Regis and Wolston. 

After several months of planning and surveying work, engineers will begin putting in the fibre optic cable and new road-side cabinets that are needed for people in these communities to get access to the new fibre broadband network from July onwards. 

At the same time fibre broadband will be extended in the parts of Atherstone, Chapel End, Kenilworth, Knowle, Leamington Spa, Nuneaton, Polesworth, Solihull and Southam not already covered by any commercial roll-out. 
Work to connect the next exchange areas that are included in today's announcement will continue in the second half of this year, with the majority completed by the end of Spring 2015. By this time more than 27,000 premises are expected to have been provided with access to fibre broadband, marking the half-way point in the CSW Broadband programme. 

CSW Broadband will continue to keep people informed on the progress of the programme in these and other areas via the project website http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk, and through regular updates in the media. 

Councillor Alan Cockburn, Deputy Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: "The team have been working for some time to make this information available. A new map was also recently posted to the project website, www.cswbroadband.org.uk, showing those areas that are currently being surveyed, and which are to follow later in the programme. We want to make sure that information is brought forward in a timely manner, and have been working on this at the same time as carrying out the planning for the project as a whole. The next information release will be data by postcode, and we hope to get that out in the next few weeks. We have a lot of work to do and it is a balance between responding to enquiries, developing information for the website, and getting on with the management of the actual rollout. Things will start to move rapidly from now on as we move towards cabinets going live and people being able to upgrade to the new services.” 

Mike Cook, BT’s regional director for the West Midlands, said: “It’s a huge engineering project that we’re undertaking here in Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire, but we’re committed to connecting communities as quickly as possible whilst of course planning carefully to ensure the project delivers the best value for money from the investment. 

“The internet is playing an increasingly important part in all our lives which is why the strong progress being made by CSW Broadband is so important.” 

CSW Broadband is a partnership between Warwickshire County Council and its five district and borough councils, with Coventry City Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) that will enable more than 40,000 rural or very rural homes and businesses in Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire to access faster broadband. 

CSW Broadband aims to achieve 91 per cent superfast broadband coverage under the current contract with BT. BDUK recently announced that the project could bid for an additional £3.68 million which should take coverage up to 95 per cent, subject to match funding being found. The CSW Broadband team has until March 25 2014 to register an Expression of Interest and until the end of June 2014 to submit its funding request. A procurement exercise will commence later this year. 

Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire homes and businesses will be able to order fibre broadband from a wide range of internet service providers as the network being installed by Openreach - BT’s local network business - is available to all providers on an open, wholesale basis, thereby ensuring competitive prices. It enables people to access download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second and uploads of up to 20 megabits**.To check whether you can access fibre broadband services contact your internet service provider. 


ENDS 

For more information please contact Leigh Hunt at the CSW Broadband project office on 01926 738339 or email: broadband@warwickshire.gov.uk 

Or 
Emma Tennant at the BT regional press office on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.com 

Notes to Editors: 

*The first communities to benefit from the CSW Broadband rollout, announced last month, are: Alderminster, Fillongley, Henley-in-Arden, Kineton, Quinton, Long Marston, Snitterfield and Welford-on-Avon. People here will be able to start to access fibre broadband from April onwards. 
**These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary. 

About CSW Broadband - http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk 
CSW Broadband is a partnership of eight Local Authorities (Coventry, Solihull, Warwickshire and the Boroughs and Districts of North Warwickshire, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Rugby, Warwick and Stratford on Avon). 
The project office is hosted by Warwickshire County Council and is based in Warwick. The project team can be contacted on 01926 738339 or broadband@warwickshire.gov.uk 
The CSW Superfast Broadband Programme is in addition to, and separate from, Coventry City Council’s ‘Super Connected Cities’ Programme. 

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements: 
* £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017 
* £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities 
* £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services 
Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life. For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk