Demand for high-speed fibre broadband soars with Merseyside Connected

More people are signing up for high-speed fibre broadband than ever before thanks to the work of Merseyside Connected.

Merseyside Connected – a multi-million pound partnership between five local councils and BT – has made fibre-optic broadband technology available to nearly 60,000 homes and businesses across the county.

And figures announced today show the number of homes and businesses using the faster connections in the Merseyside Connected area more than tripled in the past year with 21 per cent now signed up to a fibre broadband package compared to six per cent just 12 months ago.

Councillor Gary Millar, Assistant Mayor and Mayoral lead for business and international trade at Liverpool City Council, the lead local authority on Merseyside Connected, said: “Fibre broadband is transforming the lives of people in Merseyside. So much we do these days relies on a fast internet connection whether we’re at home or at work.

“And demand for better, faster broadband in Merseyside is clear – in the past year three times more homes and businesses have signed-up to use the new technology installed as part of the Merseyside Connected programme. To check availability in your area visit www.merseysideconnected.org”

Liverpool’s Mayoral lead for energy and smart cities, Councillor James Noakes, added: “I welcome the progress that has been made under the Merseyside Connected scheme, which has clearly benefited many people. We are absolutely determined to build on this work in order to maximize investment and business growth by continuing to explore options for further improving digital connectivity in Liverpool and across Merseyside.”

Some of the most recent areas to benefit from the fibre broadband rollout include parts of St Helens, Birkdale, Prescot and Allerton.

Mike Blackburn, BT’s regional director for the North West, said: “We are delighted the rollout in Merseyside is proving to be so popular. It’s great to see the benefits of all the hard work of the programme coming to life through the number of people who are now taking advantage of the high speeds. The technology really does have the ability to transform the way people and businesses use the internet.

“When combined with the commercial rollout, 98 per cent of Merseyside homes and businesses should be able to access fibre broadband by September 2016.”

Fibre broadband helps make everything happen online much faster than a standard broadband connection. The technology offers download speeds up to 80Mbps.

All of the engineering work as part of Merseyside Connected is being carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business. This means residents and businesses with access to fibre broadband can choose from a wide range of internet service providers and benefit from competitive pricing and products.

To find out if residents or businesses can upgrade to fibre broadband they need to speak to their service provider, they will not automatically be upgraded.