Superfast broadband is coming to more homes and businesses in the county of Cheshire. The Connecting Cheshire project has announced plans to extend the roll-out of fibre to 6,000 more premises in the region.
Connecting Cheshire is a partnership of four authorities - Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton and Warrington - and BT, with additional funding coming from the government. The project's goal is to make fibre optic broadband available to 98% of the region by summer 2017. To date, more than 92,000 premises has been connected.
A lot of people have chosen to switch to fibre too. As a result, £4.3 million has been reinvested into the scheme. The original contract included a clawback clause, which stated that if take-up was more than 20%, BT would return some of the public money to reinvest in expansion projects.
The extension project will run until summer 2018, and areas to benefit will include Mottram, St Andrew, Swettenham, Aston near Frodsham, Hatton near Warrington and Manor Park in Halton.
David Brown, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: "Under its initial contract with BT, the Connecting Cheshire programme receives a dividend if take-up reaches a certain point. As this has been achieved, the money will be used to extend the network to areas previously outside the planned coverage area - which is great news.
Investing public money in fibre broadband helps sustain our rural communities and maintains Cheshire's competitive edge as a business destination. It also allows homeowners to do things that need a faster internet connection, like accessing skills and learning, entertainment and other social connections."