SUPERFAST Worcestershire has announced a multi-million pound new investment which will help make the county ‘superfit’ for the 21st century.

A £6.2 million expansion is expected to extend the superfast broadband roll-out to more than 5,300 further Worcestershire households and businesses. It should provide a better service to people living and working in Tenbury and the Teme Valley where many businesses are dependent upon on-line trading.

Worcestershire County Council has signed a new contract with co-funding partner BT Group, which extends the Superfast Worcestershire programme into a third phase, to reach some of the county’s more remote communities.

When work is complete, more than 96 per cent of Worcestershire homes and businesses will be able to access superfast broadband.

Superfast Worcestershire is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme. The latest phase of the roll-out includes around £1 million funding from the European Regional Development Fund, £3.7 million from BT Group and £1.5 million from BDUK.

“As part of the Government’s nationwide roll-out of superfast broadband, Superfast Worcestershire has already reached more than 50,000 local homes and businesses who would otherwise have missed out,” said Minister for Digital Matt Hancock.

“But there’s still more to do and it’s great to hear that another 5,300 premises will now be able to enjoy all the benefits of a superfast broadband connection.”

Engineers from Openreach, the business responsible for Britain’s largest phone and broadband network, will begin work on the new phase in early 2018 and upgrades are due to be completed in 2019. It builds on the two earlier stages of the programme.

Openreach will be using a mixture of technologies, including Fibre to the Premises technology capable of delivering ultrafast download speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second and upload speeds of up to 220Mbps*.

“The County Council’s continued commitment to improve the level of broadband coverage in Worcestershire shows that we recognise access to high-speed broadband is crucial for residents and businesses alike,” said Ken Pollock, Worcestershire County Council Cabinet Member responsible for Economy and Infrastructure and also member for Tenbury.

“These new contracts prove that we are determined to be one of the best connected counties in the UK, and I’m delighted that our programme is going further.”