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The first exchanges to be upgraded by the Superfast West Yorkshire programme have been announced today.

Residents and businesses encouraged to register their need for speed as work begins to extend the fibre network

Superfast West Yorkshire today announced that work has begun on the first phase in their expansion of high-speed fibre broadband, which is expected to help create jobs and boost connectivity in the region.      

Thousands of homes and businesses in 14 exchange areas are to be included in the first phase of Superfast West Yorkshire’s multi million pound programme.

In Barwick in Elmet, Hipperholme, Illingworth, Sowerby Bridge and Arthington fibre broadband will reach their communities for the first time. There will also be a substantial investment to make fibre more widely available in Halifax, Calder Valley, Brighouse, Hemsworth, Ilkley, Otley, South Elmsall, Royston and Sandal where people already have the high-speed technology. Engineering work to lay the new network in these areas has begun with premises included in phase one of the roll-out to be upgraded by the end of June.

Ian Gray, chair of the Superfast West Yorkshire project team, said: “Our research suggests that there are thousands of homes and businesses across West Yorkshire experiencing poor speeds on the broadband network.   

“This project will improve coverage, particularly across rural areas, bringing superfast broadband to many places which would not otherwise have access.             

"There are many benefits for businesses and residents from video conferencing, social networking and catch-up TV to internet shopping and banking.  This project will boost economic growth and bring social benefits across our rural communities.”

Residents and businesses across West Yorkshire who want to keep up to date with progress of the roll-out are encouraged to register their interest. This will enable the Superfast West Yorkshire team to send out updates on the project and identify areas of high demand. More than 3700 businesses and residents across West Yorkshire have already registered their interest through the website www.superfastwestyorkshire.co.uk/register

From mid-January, together with Kirklees Council, a business support programme will be launched to demonstrate the benefits of high speed internet to businesses with targeted support and information to help businesses turn faster broadband speeds into business growth.

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said: “Planning a project of this scale, to get the very best value for money and maximum coverage, is a phenomenal task. BT and the Superfast West Yorkshire team have worked very hard to get to this point.

“This announcement however is just a first step. A team of specialised fibre engineers will now work to extend and build a fibre network which will bring a better quality of life for residents and provide a major economic boost by attracting more jobs and businesses to even more parts of West Yorkshire.”

Superfast West Yorkshire plans to extend high-speed fibre broadband to 97 per cent of households and businesses across the majority of West Yorkshire by the end of 2015.[1]  As well as providing high speed fibre, the partnership aims to upgrade all premises in this area to speeds of more than 2Mbps.

Superfast West Yorkshire builds on BT’s commercial investment of £2.5 billion to roll fibre broadband out to two-thirds of UK premises by the end of Spring 2014. Leeds City Council, Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Wakefield Council and Calderdale Council will work with BT to bring fibre broadband to premises in West Yorkshire which are not currently included in commercial roll-out plans and would otherwise have missed out on this opportunity.

BT was awarded the contract following a procurement exercise through the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) framework. BT is contributing £12.58 million towards fibre deployment in “non-commercial” areas, with the four local authorities contributing £970,000. Additionally, the project has received £4.62 million of funding from BDUK and £3.79 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) .2

Some 708,000 premises in the project area will be getting access to some of the best broadband speeds in the world via Superfast West Yorkshire and BT’s associated commercial roll-out. The service will boost the competitiveness of local firms and offer a whole new range of flexible working, entertainment and learning opportunities for local residents.  Fibre broadband benefits include users being able to send and receive large amounts of data much more quickly and efficiently and having the ability to run multiple bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time.

BT’s network will be open to all communications providers on an equal wholesale basis and so consumers and businesses in West Yorkshire will benefit from a highly competitive market.

Fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) will be the main technology deployed which delivers wholesale downstream speeds of up to 80Mbps and upstream speeds of up to 20Mbps.3

Openreach has also started to make fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, where the fibre runs all the way to the home or business, commercially available on demand in certain areas where fibre broadband has been deployed, and plans to expand access in due course. FTTP-on-demand offers the top current download speed of up to 330Mbps.4

1A map showing the area of West Yorkshire covered by this project can be found at www.superfastwestyorkshire.co.uk/coverage

2The Superfast West Yorkshire project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf

3These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

4Openreach will levy an installation charge for FTTP on demand. It will be up to service providers to decide whether they pass that on to businesses or consumers wishing to use the product.



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

 About Superfast West Yorkshire

Superfast West Yorkshire is a partnership between all five West Yorkshire local authorities and BT.

The partnership is jointly funded by Broadband Delivery UK (part of Department of Culture, Media and Sport), European Regional Development Funds (ERDF), local authority funds and BT investments.

The initiative, which is supported by both the Leeds City Region and the Association of West Yorkshire Authorities, will ensure more businesses and residents across West Yorkshire get access to superfast broadband.



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Jan 28, 2014