Superfast fibre broadband extends across Nottinghamshire
Businesses on the Manvers Business Park in Cotgrave have become the latest to benefit from a £29m investment in Nottinghamshire’s digital infrastructure.
70,000 extra homes and businesses that now have access to superfast fibre broadband, thanks to the Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire (BBfN) programme led by Nottinghamshire County Council and BT.
According to the independent www.thinkbroadband.com, superfast broadband is now available to around 96 per cent of properties in Nottinghamshire, making it the best connected county in the Midlands and in the top three areas in the whole of the UK for digital connectivity.
Crocodile Stores, which sells toys, games and outdoor play equipment from its base on the business park is one of those benefitting and has already noticed significant improvements since taking advantage of the better broadband connectivity available.
Managing Director, Matthew Kirby set up the company 14 years ago after seeing how much his own children enjoyed playing on a climbing frame.
He said: “We have been crying out for better broadband as the old connection dropped out frequently, causing us all sorts of issues.
“We sell a lot of our products online, so need constant access. We upgraded to a faster service as soon as it became available and we can now work much more quickly and allow us to adopt online business tools with the confidence that the broadband is there to support them.”
BBfN is one of the biggest civil engineering projects ever undertaken in the county. It has helped increase broadband coverage across Nottinghamshire from 85 per cent in June 2014 to around 96 per cent currently. In Rushcliffe, where Crocodile Stores is based, superfast broadband availability has increased from 73 per cent to 94 per cent.
When the second and current phase of the programme is completed in 2018, superfast broadband will be available to more than 98 per cent of homes and businesses in Nottinghamshire.
Councillor Diana Meale, Chair of Economic Development Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The County Council still has an aspiration for 100 per cent superfast broadband access across Nottinghamshire and we are currently in the process of constructing a funding package for a third phase of BBfN, which we hope can bring us ever closer to that ultimate aim.”
Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for next generation access, said: “We’re making great progress overall in Nottinghamshire with lots more work to come. It’s great to hear examples of how local businesses, like Crocodile Stores, are using the technology to improve their online fortunes. The rollout of fibre broadband provides a long-lasting boost for small businesses throughout the county.”
David Ralph, Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local enterprise Partnership, which is investing £2.63m in the Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire scheme, said: “It’s a core priority for D2N2 to widen access to faster, fibre-optic broadband across its area. The latest milestone is very welcome news.
“D2N2 has agreed to invest £4.8m into BBfN and its equivalent in Derbyshire, ‘Digital Derbyshire’, from its current £192m Local Growth Fund allocation.”