Sarah Windrum, board director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).
Sarah Windrum, board director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).

Member Article

Superfast broadband initiative forges ahead despite the Coronavirus pandemic

An initiative to connect homes and businesses across Warwickshire and Solihull to superfast broadband has continued to forge ahead despite the Coronavirus pandemic.

The total number of houses in the region that have been completed and connected this year by the CSW Broadband project stands at 7,698 and the number of commercial premises with 30mpbs broadband access is now 898.

The CSW Broadband project is bringing improved broadband speeds across Solihull and Warwickshire with the aim of achieving 98 per cent of coverage at superfast speeds – a minimum of 30mbps.

It has been funded by Government, local authorities – Warwickshire County Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, North Warwickshire Borough Council, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, Rugby Borough Council, Warwick District Council and Stratford-on-Avon District Council and the European Regional Development Fund.

The scheme was also allocated £1 million from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) through the Local Growth Fund.

Sarah Windrum, board director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), said: “Despite the difficulties of this year, especially with two national lockdowns, it is fantastic to see that this project is still pushing forward with its aim of connecting everyone to superfast broadband.

“In this day and age, when more and more people are working from home because of the Coronavirus crisis, broadband speeds and capacity are extremely important so the work that the team is doing is vital.

“It is great news to see that many more homes and businesses have been connected across the Warwickshire and Solihull region this year and we look forward to seeing this continue.”

Despite the current Covid-19 crisis, the Government continues to press for broadband infrastructure delivery to remain a high priority during what is a challenging period.

Discussions have been held with suppliers at both local and national levels to assess the impact of the virus on the industry and a plan of action produced to continue project delivery.

The Government body, Building Digital UK (BDUK), has extended delivery of Superfast programmes past March 2021 with a new deadline of March 2022.

The new build forecast produced by Openreach for the CSW Broadband Project has been planned for completion in line with the Government’s approved deadline of March 2022 with project outputs remaining unchanged for LEP homes and businesses.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Matt Joyce .

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