At the time of writing this, we’ve had some good coverage on the Melton Times website and are hoping for it to appear in one of the printed issues, this or next week. Here’s the full text of the news release BT kindly put together with us and sent out:
VILLAGERS CELEBRATE FASTER BROADBAND SPEEDS
Residents of a Melton village, who campaigned for superfast broadband, say their lives have been transformed now it is available there.
The county council-led Superfast Leicestershire partnership with BT has delivered download speeds of up to 80 Mbps to Holwell – 20 times faster than what was previously available.
Local resident and digital champion, Simon Wilkinson-Blake, who led the campaign, said: “Using the internet was often difficult, with households having to limit themselves to one application at a time. Now we have fibre broadband, some residents who have upgraded have seen over a twenty-fold increase in speeds.
“This is game-changing because it means we can at last use different connected devices simultaneously and also enjoy many internet applications previously inaccessible to us. Fibre broadband is a very significant enhancement to living and working in a rural village like Holwell.”
Engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network business, installed a new green roadside fibre broadband cabinet on Main Street and laid more than four miles of underground fibre cable.
50 properties in Holwell can now order superfast broadband from a range of providers as a result of the installation.
Local resident and home-based travel counsellor, Sally Willars, has seen her average broadband speed increase from 1Mbps to 50Mbps.
She said: “I run an independent travel business from home and before we had fibre broadband, it would sometimes take me hours to source the perfect holiday or travel solution, but I can now do most in about half an hour depending upon the type of travel request.”
The work to make fibre broadband available in villages like Holwell is part of the Superfast Leicestershire partnership between Leicestershire County Council and BT, which has already reached 63,000 premises. The programme remains on course to make superfast broadband available to more than 72,000 premises in Leicestershire by the end of 2018.
Councillor Blake Pain, county council cabinet member for broadband, said: “It is great to see residents and businesses in Holwell taking advantage of the new speeds available. I hope this inspires those communities set to benefit from our superfast extension project.”
Kasam Hussain, BT’s project manager for Superfast Leicestershire, said: “This is great news for Holwell, where villagers have shown great passion, vision and determination to work with us during a particularly complex and difficult upgrade. Simon has led the village in taking an active role in the rollout and we’re extremely grateful for that support.”
Funding for Superfast Leicestershire partnership has been provided by a wide-range of organisations including the county council, other local authorities, BT, Broadband Delivery UK (the Government’s broadband delivery arm), and Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership as part of its Local Growth Fund. For more information about Superfast Leicestershire visit www.superfastleicestershire.org.uk or look out for #SuperfastLeics on Twitter.
Christine Marshall, Strategic Director at Melton Borough Council has added: “Melton Borough Council is committed to working with the County Council to look at solutions for getting superfast broadband into all of our rural areas. We are delighted that the roll out to Holwell has had such a positive impact on the service that the residents can now access.”