Saturday, 13 August 2022

Villagers celebrate arrival of high speed broadband

CUXHAM is the first community in South Oxfordshire to benefit from the second phase of the roll-out of Better Broadband for Oxfordshire.

CUXHAM is the first community in South Oxfordshire to benefit from the second phase of the roll-out of Better Broadband for Oxfordshire.

Residents and others celebrated at the Half Moon pub in the village on Friday and were joined by Henley MP John Howell.

About 75 homes and businesses in the village are now able to access high-speed fibre broadband.

Vaska Battley, who owns the pub, said: “My customers expect to be able to access the internet when they come in for a meal or drinks.

“Since we upgraded to high-speed fibre broadband we’ve noticed a huge difference. Now it doesn’t matter how many people want to go online at the same time because the new service is stronger and more reliable.”

Lesley McKie, who runs a communications consultancy from home with her husband Rod Macrae, said: “It’s making my business more productive and I’m more confident in taking on new clients and delivering a really good service for them.

“Prior to having fast broadband, at certain times of the day working life would grind to a halt.”

Mr Macrae added: “You need to upload and download video content and you need to share photos with your clients, which is the bread and butter of the communications industry. It used to take so long and time is money.”

Mr Howell said: “The provision of faster broadband connections is a key issue in our communities.

“I am regularly contacted by constituents frustrated at the speeds they can access.

“Broadband is important for everyday living, for education, for banking, for access to government departments and much more.

“I am delighted that Cuxham is benefiting in this second phase of the roll-out and look forward to seeing many more communities connected.” Better Broadband for Oxfordshire is a multi-million pound initiative led by Oxfordshire County Council and BT, supported by South Oxfordshire District Council and the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Since the roll-out began more than two years ago, it has made superfast fibre broadband available to 67,500 homes and business premises. Councillor Nick Carter, the council’s cabinet member for local government, business and customer services, said: “This is yet another step forward for high quality broadband in Oxfordshire.

“I’m sure residents and businesses in Cuxham will welcome these positive changes in the same way that others elsewhere in the county already have.”

Over the next year, the rol-lout programme will continue, benefiting other villages including Brightwell Baldwin, Pyrton, Northend, Pishill and Russells Water.

Paul Bimson, BT’s regional partnership director, said: “More than 275,000 households and businesses across Oxfordshire are now able to access faster fibre broadband as a result of BT’s own investment and the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire roll-out.

“Fibre broadband is changing people’s lives for the better, which is why we’re working hard to reach more remote areas of the county as quickly as possible.”

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