First phase of high-speed fibre broadband to begin in Calderdale

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Superfast West Yorkshire has announced work has begun on the first phase of its expansion of high-speed fibre broadband, which is expected to help create jobs and boost connectivity in the region.

Thousands of homes and businesses in 14 exchange areas are included in the first phase of Superfast West Yorkshire’s multi million pound programme.

Amongst the areas to see the upgrades will be Hipperholme, Illingworth, Sowerby Bridge.

There will also be a substantial investment to make fibre more widely available in Halifax, Calder Valley and Brighouse, where many people can already get the technology.

Engineering work to lay the new network in these areas has begun with local homes and businesses expected to be able to order fibre broadband by the end of June.

Ian Gray, chair of the Superfast West Yorkshire project board, said: “Our research suggests there are a significant number of homes and businesses experiencing broadband speeds that are lower than expected across West Yorkshire

“This project will improve coverage, particularly across rural areas, bringing superfast broadband to many places which would not otherwise have access.

“There are many benefits for businesses and residents from video conferencing, social networking and catch-up TV to internet shopping and banking. This project will boost economic growth and bring social benefits across our rural communities.”

Residents and businesses across West Yorkshire who want to keep up to date with progress of the roll-out are encouraged to register their interest. This will enable the Superfast West Yorkshire team to send out updates on the project and identify areas of high demand. More than 3,700 businesses and residents across West Yorkshire have already registered their interest through the website

Superfast West Yorkshire plans to extend high-speed fibre broadband to 97 per cent of households and businesses across the majority of West Yorkshire by the end of 2015. As well as providing high speed fibre, the partnership aims to ensure all premises in this area have access to speeds of more than 2Mbps.

Superfast West Yorkshire builds on BT’s commercial investment of £2.5 billion to roll-out fibre broadband to two-thirds of UK premises by the end of Spring 2014. Leeds City Council, Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Wakefield Council and Calderdale Council will work with BT to bring fibre broadband to premises in West Yorkshire, which are not currently included in the private sector’s commercial roll-out plans and would otherwise have missed out on this opportunity.