Isle MP joins Northern Lincolnshire businesses to celebrate extra fibre broadband funding

An engineer installing fibre optic cabling for broadband.
An engineer installing fibre optic cabling for broadband.

A major expansion of the multi million pound Northernlincs Broadband programme was announced today.

Additional funding of £1.2 million will see high-speed fibre broadband made available to a further 5,000 homes and businesses and take coverage in North and North East Lincolnshire to 92 per cent.

Local businesses and community organisations will today join Andrew Percy MP, Councillor Liz Redfern, leader of North Lincolnshire Council and representatives from the Northernlincs Broadband team at the Forest Pines Hotel and Golf Resort in Broughton to celebrate the further expansion.

In June this year North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire Councils joined forces with BT forming the Northernlincs Broadband programme. The multi-million pound deal originally pledged to bring fibre broadband to 89 per cent of homes and businesses but the Northernlincs broadband team were confident they could secure additional funding and expand the coverage of fibre even further.

As a result, a further £500,000 of Government funding from BDUK and £562,000 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has been secured, which together with an additional £150,000 by North Lincolnshire Council boosts the total investment in the project to £9.6 million. This also includes a total £4.2 million investment from BT.

BT was awarded the contract following a procurement exercise through the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) framework. The original deal was made up of £3.3 million from BT, £2.64 million from BDUK with the remaining £1.557 million coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

The Northernlincs Broadband Programme is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf

Andrew Percy, MP for Brigg and Goole, said: “The news that the Northernlincs Broadband programme has managed to secure further funding to extend the reach of fibre broadband even further than originally planned is fantastic.

“High-speed digital connectivity is crucial for the long-term success of our economy. Events like today’s will help local businesses learn how they can take advantage of faster broadband speeds to make a positive impact on the way they run their businesses.”

The Northernlincs Broadband programme will build on BT’s commercial investment of £2.5 billion to roll fibre broadband out to two-thirds of UK premises by the end of Spring 2014. This investment has already brought fibre broadband to Brigg and Scunthorpe with Grimsby, Scartho, Healing and Barton-upon-Humber set to follow by the end of Spring 2014.

The investment in fibre broadband will boost the local economy and help to create or protect local jobs. It will be of particular benefit to local businesses which can use the faster speeds to improve their competitiveness both within the UK and abroad.

BT’s network will be open to all communications providers on an equal wholesale basis and so consumers and businesses will benefit from a highly competitive market. This was an important stipulation in the tender process. Around 80 service providers across the UK are currently trialling or offering fibre broadband over BT’s network.

Councillor Liz Redfern, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “We were keen to not only reach the government’s broadband target but exceed it. With this funding, we are well on the way to do just that. Thousands more people and local businesses in Northern Lincolnshire will be able to access fibre broadband as a result by the end of Spring 2015. We have been working with many businesses as part of the business support package to help them get the most of out of the internet in preparation for the fantastic broadband network. The event was a great way of keeping residents and business up-to-date on the rollout of broadband in their area.”

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for next generation access, added: “Hard work and commitment to this project has secured further investment which will bring fibre broadband to thousands more home and businesses in North and North East Lincs.

“The most important aim is to ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from fibre broadband and in as quick a timeframe as possible so this is great news for both businesses and consumers across both areas.”

Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) will be the main technology deployed which delivers wholesale downstream speeds of up to 80Mbps and upstream speeds of up to 20Mbps. However from Spring 2013, Openreach has started to make fibre to the premises (FTTP) available “on demand” in FTTC enabled areas delivering speeds of up to 330Mbps 80Mbps and 330Mbps are wholesale speeds. ISPs may use different speeds in their advertising. Individual line speeds will depend on network infrastructure and the service chosen by the ISP

Openreach has started to make FTTP on demand available in its fibre footprint. Openreach will levy an installation charge but it will be up to service providers to decide whether they pass that onto businesses or consumers wishing to take advantage of the product.

Fibre broadband at home means everyone in the family can do their own thing online, all at the same time, whether it’s downloading music in minutes or watching catch-up TV; downloading HD or 3D movies in the few minutes it takes to make popcorn; or posting photos and videos to social networking sites in seconds. Fibre improves the quality of online experiences and supports exciting new developments in internet services.

The benefits are also considerable for businesses, which can do much more in far less time. Firms can speed up file and data transfers, collaborate with colleagues and customers on conference or video calls or swap their hardware and expensive software licenses for files, processing power and software from cloud computing. Staff can work as effectively from home as they would in the office.

Northernlincs Broadband has developed a free programme of business support to help eligible small businesses to save time, money and improve efficiency. The programme of dedicated IT specialists and business advisors provides tailored support geared towards maximising the benefits of improved connectivity.

For up to date information on the project and roll-out please visit

http://www.investinnorthlincolnshire.co.uk/business-support/broadband-project/