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Black Country Broadband Project gets £1.2m Cash Injection as Technology Roll-Out Reaches 40,000 Households and Businesses

Residents and businesses across the Black Country are being urged to make the most of the new superfast broadband technology being rolled out across the region.

The call comes as the multi-million pound Black Country Broadband Project – led by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and BT – announced it had now reached another major milestone, making faster fibre broadband available to more than 40,000 local premises.

There was more good news as the ambitious partnership confirmed it had secured additional investment for the area from the LEP, the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme and BT.

The extra £1.2m will enable the Black Country Broadband Project to make the technology available to an additional 2,000 local premises.

Ninder Johal, Board Member for the Black Country LEP, said: “This additional funding will help us to roll out fibre broadband even further than we’d originally planned, which is even more great news for Black Country residents and businesses.

“The Black Country Broadband Project is making terrific progress, but we’re keen for more local people to take advantage and upgrade their broadband service, which they can do at little or no extra cost, to ensure they don’t get left behind in a world where so many things rely on us having access to fast, reliable broadband.”

Ian Binks, BT’s Regional Manager for the Black Country and the West Midlands, said: “High-speed fibre broadband enables businesses to share information with their customers and suppliers more easily and quickly, whether that’s around the region or on the other side of the world.

“At home it opens up new learning and leisure opportunities, making it easier for families to connect several devices to the internet at the same time to download music, play games, watch catch-up TV and do research and online shopping, without worrying about buffering.”

So far, engineers from Openreach – the local network business which is part of BT Group - have installed nearly 200,000 kilometres of optical fibre and around 370 fibre broadband road-side cabinets for the Black Country Broadband Project, which is part of the Government’s BDUK programme.

Areas to benefit recently include: Aldridge, Beacon, Bearwood, Bilston, Blackheath, Brierley Hill, Broadwell, Brownhills, Cradley Heath, Dudley/Central, Finchfield, Fordhouses, Halesowen, James Bridge, Kingswinford, Lye, Pelsall, Penn Staffs, Sedgley, Smethwick, Stone Cross, Stourbridge, Streetly, Tipton, West Bromwich, Willenhall, Wolverhampton, and Woodgate.

Because the network is being rolled out by Openreach, residents and businesses opting for an upgrade can choose from a wide range of broadband service providers.

The Black Country Broadband Project was launched to bring fibre broadband to areas of the region that are not already able to access faster fibre broadband as a result of any commercial roll-outs of fibre broadband by the private sector.

For more information on the Black Country Broadband Project please visit www.blackcountrylep.co.uk/place/broadband-plan.

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