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December 18, 2013

BT to bring high-speed fibre broadband across Greater Manchester

High-speed fibre broadband will now be extended to additional 39,000 homes and businesses across the county by March 2016.

By CBR Staff Writer

Eight councils across Greater Manchester have signed a £15m Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) deal with BT to extend High-speed fibre broadband to additional 39,000 homes and businesses across the county by March 2016.

The latest broadband deployment is being managed by local councils in Stockport, Bolton, Wigan, Bury, Tameside, Oldham, Trafford and Rochdale, who have opted BT to build the new fibre broadband network.

Stockport Council chief executive Eamonn Boylan said the eight local authority areas, with their active local business communities will play a crucial role in making Greater Manchester one of the world’s top digital cities by 2020.

"Access to fast and reliable broadband is becoming increasingly important for homes and businesses," Boylan said.

"These proposals would ensure local businesses can make the most of digital technology – boosting the local economy, generating growth, creating jobs and attracting further investment."

As part of the deal, the British telecom firm has agreed to fund £4.6m towards the project’s charges in non-commercial areas; while the councils would contribute £2.5m; a further £3m would be contributed by the BDUK fund; and European Regional Development Fund is stumping up £5m.

BT next generation access managing director Bill Murphy said that access to high-speed broadband is rapidly becoming a key ingredient for economic growth and is also a major determining factor in where businesses decide to locate.

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"Fibre broadband opens up a whole raft of leading edge software applications that will benefit businesses – allowing them to work more efficiently, enabling people to work when and where they want to, as well as expanding their business offerings and connecting with customers, not just locally but all over the world," Murphy said.

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