16 Jun 2023, 12:58 p.m.
Buckinghamshire Council is pleased to announce the completion of the Bucks Rural Business Broadband (BRBB) project. In partnership with Openreach and Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the council has successfully delivered ultrafast gigabit fibre connections to 723 rural businesses in 38 towns and villages throughout the region – including Prestwood, Iver and Quainton.
This ground-breaking initiative, funded by a £1.8 million grant from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and managed by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), aims to bridge the digital divide by connecting rural businesses to gigabit capable broadband. Without this scheme, these businesses would have no way of benefitting from ultrafast connections because of their rural location.
Openreach commenced the first installation in June 2021 and completed the project earlier this year. The take-up percentage for the service currently stands at 15%. However, with some connections only recently completed, the council anticipates a significant increase in uptake over the coming months.
Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire Council, said:
“We are immensely proud of the successful completion of the BRBB project. It demonstrates our commitment to supporting rural businesses and ensuring they have access to the latest digital infrastructure.
“Gigabit connectivity – which provides speeds up to 10 times faster than average superfast broadband – is crucial for firms to thrive in today’s digital world and will help make rural Buckinghamshire an even more attractive place to do business.
“Furthermore, due to the innovative contract we were able to secure with Openreach, we have been able to extend the benefits of this programme to connect some residential properties as well, bringing ultrafast broadband to even more Buckinghamshire residents.”
Kieran Wines, Openreach’s regional director for the South East, commented:
“We’re pleased to have worked in partnership with Buckinghamshire Council to overcome the significant challenges of deploying advanced fibre networks in rural areas. Together, we’ve bridged the digital divide and brought gigabit connectivity to rural businesses in Buckinghamshire that would otherwise have struggled to access it.
“The important thing to remember is that upgrades don’t happen automatically. People need to contact, and place orders through, their broadband provider to take advantage of the new technology. You can check whether ultrafast Full Fibre is available in your area by putting your address into the Openreach fibre checker.”
Rural businesses interested in taking advantage of the new ultrafast broadband service should visit the council’s website for more information.