Villages celebrate news that super-fast broadband is finally on its way
11:00am Saturday 28th September 2013 in News
Kington Langley and Castle Combe residents are celebrating the news they will soon have superfast fibre optic broadband for the first time.
It will be available to order by next summer, bringing a big boost to the many businesses in the villages.
It has been a long wait for those in Kington Langley, who two years ago came 12th in the UK in a BT competition to gauge demand, along with Kington St Michael with whom they share an exchange.
More than half, 55 per cent, of exchange subscribers registered their interest - by far the most from any exchange under 1,000 subscribers in the country.
Freelance journalist Keri Allan, 35, who lives in Kington Langley, said: “I’m very excited. It’s frustrating to have to wait ‘til next year, but it’s brilliant that we know it’s coming.
“I’ve got international clients in Dubai and the US and sometimes I do interviews on Skype, so it’s difficult having internet just up to six Mbps, and lately it’s been two.
“I’m also a hardcore gamer so it’ll be great for playing World of Warcraft.”
The communities are the latest to benefit from a £35.6 million superfast broadband partnership between Wiltshire Council, South Gloucestershire Council and BT.
Kington Langley Parish Council chairman Maurice Dixon said: “This doesn’t just happen overnight; it is the result of a lot of hard work by our vice chairman Graham Trickey. I’m delighted his efforts have been successful.
“It is surprising how many people there are in the village running small businesses, working from home, and broadband is needed to be efficient and effective.”
Wiltshire Council has invested £15.5m into the project, South Gloucestershire £2m, and BT £12.8m. It has also benefited from £4.6m from the UK Government’s Superfast Britain programme and £0.74m from the European Regional Development Fund.
The partnership aims to make fibre broadband available to more than 10,000 Wiltshire homes and businesses by June 2014 and for 91 per cent of premises in the county to have access to superfast speeds of 24Mbps and above by the end of March 2016.
Wiltshire Council cabinet member for broadband, John Thomson, said: “This project will have a hugely positive impact on those rural communities but also provide a big boost to local businesses and allow them to operate as effectively as possible.
“I am looking forward to announcing more Wiltshire communities who will benefit from this project in the near future.”