The Old Fountain Brewery housing estate in Halifax today (Friday) became the first location to receive high-speed fibre broadband - three months ahead of schedule.
Thousands more homes and businesses across Calderdale will also have access to high speed fibre broadband speeds as the Superfast West Yorkshire broadband programme rolls out the technology to more locations.
Halifax MP Linda Riordan said: “This is great news for the countless local residents and businesses who will benefit. The welcome investment in faster broadband speeds is good for business, good for the local community and good for the local economy. I know this will be the first of many investment programmes across Halifax.
“It is vital that local residents and local businesses get faster broadband connections, so any programme that delivers on that as well as boosting the Halifax economy gets my wholehearted support.”
Superfast West Yorkshire builds on BT’s commercial investment of £2.5 billion to rollout fibre broadband to two-thirds of UK premises.
Calderdale Council is working with BT to bring fibre broadband to premises in the district, which are not currently included in the private sector’s commercial roll-out plans and would otherwise have missed out on this opportunity.
Ed Vaizey, Communications Minister, said: “Today marks the next stage in the transformation of broadband in West Yorkshire. Thousands more homes and businesses in West Yorkshire will benefit from access to superfast speeds by the end of March 2015 as a result of Government’s investment, providing a huge boost to the local economy.”
The programme will involve investing a total of £21.96 million to extend high-speed fibre broadband to 97 per cent of households and businesses across the majority of West Yorkshire by the end of 2015. The programme also aims to ensure all premises in this area have access to speeds of more than 2Mbps.
The investment is made up of Government funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) combined with funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), BT and four West Yorkshire local authorities.
Ian Gray, chair of the Superfast West Yorkshire project board, said: “I’m delighted we’ve reached this milestone which is so vital for West Yorkshire, and for Calderdale. It’s essential for our local businesses if they are to compete on a level playing field; for our efforts to attract inward investment and to create and protect local jobs. It’s also critical for our rural residents, so that they can enjoy the same internet benefits as those living in more urban areas.
“Most important of all, however, is the benefits it will bring to the next generation. This programme will give our children access to the interactive learning and research which they need to achieve their potential.”