News - 03 June 2014

Fibre-Optic Broadband coming this year to Hathersage, Grindelford and Hope Valley

Work to bring superfast broadband to businesses and residents in Derbyshire continues with more than eight miles of cable being laid to upgrade Grindleford Exchange.

Fibre optic cables used to deliver superfast broadband will be installed in the ground to provide more than 1,600 businesses and homes with access to faster internet connections in areas including Hathersage, Grindleford and Hope Valley.

It is the latest development as part of the £27.67 million Digital Derbyshire project led by Derbyshire County Council in partnership with the UK Government and BT to provide more than 95% of Derbyshire’s businesses and residents with access to fibre-based broadband by the end of 2016.

Councillor Joan Dixon, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs, Economy and Transport, said: “This is fantastic news for people living and working in Hathersage, Grindleford and Hope Valley.

“This investment in superfast broadband will open up endless business and leisure opportunities and will help to boost our rural areas, support economic growth and allow local communities to continue to thrive.”

“Whether it’s for business, shopping, education or socialising, the internet plays such a huge part of daily life for many of us and that will only grow in the future. That’s why we’ve been driving this project forward to boost the local economy by closing the digital divide which has left many areas of Derbyshire behind when commercial operators rolled out broadband services.”

Work to lay the cable to upgrade Grindleford Exchange has already started. It is expected to take a number of months to complete, bringing superfast broadband access to businesses and homes by the end of the year.

This latest development follows the start of the roll-out of the Digital Derbyshire project earlier this month when the first green fibre broadband cabinets went live to serve homes and businesses in parts of Bolsover.

The project aims to build on private sector roll-out of fibre broadband on a phase by phase basis until the end of 2016.

Further fibre broadband cabinets will also be switched on in Alfreton, Tibshelf and Holmewood during phase one which is expected to be completed by the end of June 2014.

Rob Shakespeare, BT’s contract manager for Digital Derbyshire, said: “We’re really pleased with the progress of the first phase of the project. We’re lighting up Digital Derbyshire’s first connections and gaining great momentum. There’s lots more still to do but we’re off to a great start.”

BT is contributing £12.87m to the project while the county council is contributing £4.9m. A further £7.4m is coming from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK funds, as well as £2.5m from the European Regional Development Fund.

Did you know….?* Engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network division, are expected to spend more than 68,000 hours planning and building the network for Digital Derbyshire.* Around 750,000 metres of optical fibre will be laid in Derbyshire.* Around 445 new green fibre broadband cabinets will be installed at roadsides throughout the county.* Fibre to cabinet technology can deliver wholesale downstream speeds of up to 80Mbps and upstream speeds of up to 20Mbps.* Superfast broadband benefits include users being able to use multiple bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time and sending and receiving large amounts of data much more quickly and efficiently.* Cables laid as part of the Digital Derbyshire project contain between 12 and 500 fibres.* Each fibre is the width of a human hair and each one is encased before it’s placed inside the cable.

Source: Derbyshire County Council

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