Thursday, March 16, 2017

News: 28 South Yorkshire areas to get ultrafast broadband

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Superfast South Yorkshire (SFSY) has targeted 28 business locations across the region which will be upgraded to fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology - providing ultrafast broadband speeds of up to 300Mbps.

The multimillion project was established with the aim that 97.9% of South Yorkshire will have access to superfast broadband by the end of 2017.

Developed by a partnership with the leadership of the four partners' authorities in South Yorkshire, alongside the support of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), contracts were signed for a £22m project in 2015. It is part of the government's BDUK initiative which is based on a gap funded subsidy approach, where the private sector invests alongside a public subsidy to provide broadband to areas where there is not otherwise a viable commercial market.

A further £4.8m in additional funding was secured, which will extend the reach of fibre broadband to 99% of South Yorkshire. The phased roll out is now due to complete in 2019.

The project is jointly funded by Sheffield City Region LEP, BDUK, BT and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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With further funding available by BDUK, project bosses agreed that it should be added to and used to support a proposal specifically for the South Yorkshire Enterprise Zones and key strategic business parks.

The work is underway and the first area to benefit was Attercliffe in Sheffield, with premises along Brightside Lane able to access download speeds in excess of 300mpbs.

The new fibre-based network installed by Openreach will be open to all Internet Service Providers. Openreach, BT's local network business, announced last year that it will more than double the speeds available over its ultrafast FTTP network, boosting the maximum download speeds available from 330 megabits per second (Mbps) to up to one gigabit per second (Gbps).

Prominent Enterprise Zones and business parks in Rotherham are set to be included. The Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) is currently listed as "FTTP planning in progress."

The SFSY Connection and Innovation Vouchers Scheme has also recently launched offering vouchers to encourage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to take-up faster digital connectivity, and to further support SMEs to introduce transformational innovations to the business that can improve business performance through faster digital connections. Vouchers will have a maximum value which will be 50% of the actual cost for the connection or innovation provided.

Connection Vouchers will support actual connection costs between £1,000 and £5,000 (voucher values would be between £500 and £2,500) and innovation vouchers support actual innovation costs between £5,000 and £24,999 (voucher values would be between £2,500 and £12,499.50).

SFSY website

Images: Openreach


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