Around 55,000 households and businesses are now able to access superfast broadband thanks to the Black Country Broadband Project.
The technology has recently become available in parts of Aldridge, Bilston, Blackheath, Brierley Hill, Dudley town centre, Halesowen, Horseley Fields, James Bridge, Kingswinford, Leamore, Lye, Penn, Sedgley, Smethwick, Stone Cross, Tipton, Walsall, Wednesbury, West Bromwich, Willenhall and Wolverhampton.
The multi-million pound Black Country Broadband Project is led by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and BT Group and is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.
Ninder Johal, Board Member for the Black Country LEP, said: “The Black Country Broadband Project is making terrific progress, but we’re keen for more local people to take advantage and upgrade their broadband service, which they can do at little or no extra cost, to ensure they don’t get left behind in a world where so many things rely on us having access to fast, reliable broadband.”
So far, engineers from Openreach – the business responsible for Britain’s largest phone and broadband network - have installed nearly 290 kilometres of optical fibre and more than 520 fibre broadband road-side cabinets for the Black Country Broadband Project.
Steve Haines, Openreach’s Managing Director of Next Generation Access, said: “The Black Country Broadband Project builds on Openreach’s own commercial roll-out of high-speed fibre broadband across the West Midlands. As part of our ongoing commitment to the region, we have also chosen Brierley Hill as one of our new pilot areas for ‘ultrafast’ broadband – providing access to download speeds of up to 330 megabits per second – which we aim to make available to around 12 million UK premises by 2020.”
Ninder Johal added: “This is more great news for the Black Country and I urge local businesses and residents to seize the many benefits that these exciting technologies bring.”
Because the Black Country Broadband Project is being rolled out by Openreach, residents and businesses opting for an upgrade can choose from a wide range of broadband service providers.
The Black Country Broadband Project was launched to bring fibre broadband to areas of the region that are not already able to access faster fibre broadband as a result of any commercial roll-outs of fibre broadband by the private sector.