Even more people in South Gloucestershire are now benefiting from high speed internet due to a large proportion of the area’s infrastructure having been upgraded to deliver gigabit capable broadband.
South Gloucestershire has exceeded the government’s 85 per cent Project Gigabit broadband coverage goal, well ahead of the target date of 2025. The gigabit broadband coverage figure for the area is currently at 85.09 per cent, much higher than the national average of 72 per cent.
South Gloucestershire Council has set ambitious new targets in South Gloucestershire and is aiming to reach 90 per cent gigabit coverage by December 2025, and 95 per cent coverage by December 2027. These targets will keep the area on track to reach the government’s national target of 100 per cent coverage by 2030.
The government’s £5 billion Project Gigabit programme aims to deliver lightning-fast, reliable broadband to everyone in the UK and ensure no communities are left out, by focusing on the more rural, hardest-to-reach areas of the country.
Gigabit-capable broadband provides a more reliable connection and makes it easier and quicker to do things like stream television and video services, game online, connect multiple devices, download large files, use social media, keep in touch with friends and family online, host and attend group video conferencing and shop and order products and services online.
Councillor Ben Burton, cabinet member with responsibility for broadband at South Gloucestershire Council, said: “We are incredibly pleased to have reached this impressive gigabit broadband coverage figure, well in advance of the target.
“Helping people in South Gloucestershire have access to the broadband speeds modern life requires is a priority for us and I’m proud that we are so far ahead of the national average in this respect. Having fast, reliable internet is becoming increasingly essential, especially for those working from home or running businesses, and we will continue working to ensure even our most rural communities have access to the broadband they need.”
One local business that has helped people in South Gloucestershire benefit through Project Gigabit is Runfibre in Iron Acton, a full fibre network operator and internet service provider, that specialises in bridging the digital divide for rural and social communities.
Runfibre’s CEO and Founder David Swanston said: “We are very pleased to have contributed to South Gloucestershire Council exceeding the government’s target by providing 85 per cent gigabit coverage in our region as part of Runfibre’s fundamental objective to bridge the digital divide in South Gloucestershire and North Wiltshire. Despite today’s celebrations, there is still much work to be done to ensure everyone continues to have access to essential services and through working with BDUK/DCMS and the local authorities, Runfibre hopes to continue making a difference to the rural communities in the region.”
Runfibre customer Ritchie Jackman said: “I live on Inglestone Common, South Gloucestershire which due to its rural nature has for some time has been a blackhole for high speed internet services. This was until Runfibre approached residents about an exciting install plan they had for Hawkesbury Upton and surrounding area including the Common. With community at the heart of the plan they also wanted to guarantee further benefits which included free high speed internet to the primary school, local church and village hall. Runfibre have pushed this plan through despite many challenges and treated customers like individuals with no problem too big or too small in relation to a very easy and personable install process all financed by the Government’s Gigabit voucher scheme.
“High speed broadband has been a life changer both to our household as well as the community, my two children can now complete school work online, have access to their friends online as they all live away from the Common and working from home is now a much easier task for us adults. The buffer circle is now a thing of the past for online TV streaming and more than one family member can now even be online at the same time!”
In addition to Project Gigabit, the council’s Phase 3 superfast fibre broadband contract with Openreach has now been completed and fibre broadband has been delivered to 2,664 premises in South Gloucestershire as a result of this investment.
For more information about broadband in South Gloucestershire visit www.southglos.gov.uk/broadband