Halfway mark reached in Superfast broadband scheme

Superfast West Yorkshire has passed the halfway mark with more homes and businesses now able to connect to high-speed fibre broadband.

The multi million pound programme is progressing at pace and is expected to reach a total of 36,463 premises by the end of 2014.

In April this year The Old Fountain Brewery housing estate in Halifax became the first area to benefit from the superfast technology thanks to the project.

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Engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, have been keeping busy - laying 291 kilometres of fibre optic cable – enough to stretch right across the county from Hebden Bridge to Knottingley five times.

A number of areas, which previously had no fibre broadband at all, have now been connected for the first time including around 15,000 premises in the communities of Hipperholme, Ilingworth, Sowerby Bridge, Collingham Bridge, Steeton and Thorner.

Tom Keeney, BT’s regional director for Yorkshire and Humber, said: “The Superfast West Yorkshire programme has made substantial gains since the first fibre cabinet went live back in April this year and it is exciting to hear about the real benefits that people are already experiencing from having this technology.

“In the modern world digital connectivity is the “fourth utility” alongside gas, electricity and water. From children doing their homework to caring for our elderly population and from social media, to e-commerce and home entertainment – fast broadband is the critical enabler.”

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Superfast West Yorkshire builds on BT’s commercial investment of £2.5 billion to rollout fibre broadband to two-thirds of UK premises.

Calderdale Council, Leeds City Council, Bradford Metropolitan District Council and Wakefield Council are working with BT 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.