Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Finally, rural villages receive superfast broadband access

MORE than 40 homes and businesses in a rural village have finally been given access to superfast broadband.

Pishill is the latest small community to benefit from the rollout of the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme, a partnership between BT, Oxfordshire County Council and Broadband Delivery UK.

Over the last four years the £35million programme has connected more than 400 premises in 19 rural communities with fibre cables.

The latest milestone was marked with a celebration at the Five Horseshoes pub in Maidensgrove, hosted by Henley MP John Howell.

Craig Bower, the project’s programme manager, said about 44 properties in Pishill had been connected.

He said: “This marks pretty much the completion of the whole quadrant of the South Chilterns. This was important for us as we wanted the project to be interactive with communities and find out the demand.”

Residents and businesses choosing to upgrade will be able to get download speeds of up to 330 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 30mbps.

Businessman Stephen Duckett, owner of the Hundred Hills winery and vineyards in the Stonor Valley, said faster internet access would help his business.

He said: “It is great for our team to now be able to operate directly from our Oxfordshire location and communicate with other members of our team around the world and our customers and key suppliers.”

Mr Howell said: “Although it has been a fairly long wait, it is great to see the Oxfordshire programme enabling these rural communities to have good access to what is increasingly a vital everyday service.”

David Bartholomew, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for finance, said: “The high adoption of fibre broadband services by Oxfordshire residents and businesses has enabled us to go beyond our 95 per cent superfast commitment which means we get a return of funding from Openreach that is reinvested in further coverage — a truly virtuous circle.”

Better Broadband for Oxfordshire began the task of connecting rural communities in 2014. The other villages include Britwell Hill, Christmas Common, Cookley Green, Cuxham, Greenfield, Howe Hill, Little Stoke, Maidensgrove, Northend, Park Corner, Stonor, Pyrton, Russells Water, Swyncombe and Nuffield.

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