Work to bring super-fast broadband to a number of areas within the Harborough district has started.
The £18.6m Superfast Leicestershire project is being delivered by BT’s local network business Openreach and will bring fibre broadband to more than 62,000 homes and businesses across the county.
Properties in Church Langton, Foxton, Smeeton Westerby, South Kilworth and parts of Kibworth Beauchamp and Kibworth Harcourt, will have access to the superfast fibre broadband for the first time.
Coverage will also be extended in Market Harborough town centre.
The BT Openreach team has already started its work on the upgrades and it is hoped the high-speed broadband will begin to go live in some Harborough district areas by the end of this month.
Kasam Hussain, BT’s project manager for Superfast Leicestershire, said: “After months of behind-the-scenes planning and survey work we’re delighted to be able to reveal the first locations we expect to benefit from this fantastic project.
“Look out for our engineers as they hit the streets to lay the brand new fibre infrastructure that will extend faster broadband far and wide across Leicestershire.”
Each area will go live with the new superfast broadband as and when the work is complete, but there is now set dates for the switch-on.
In the first phase, about 10,000 homes and businesses across the county will have access to high-speed fibre broadband from summer 2014 onwards.
Leicestershire County Council’s cabinet member for rural broadband Pam Posnett said: “It gives me great pleasure to announce the first rural communities to benefit from the Superfast Leicestershire project.
“The county and district councils, BT and the European Regional Development Fund have all made a significant investment to make sure that the rural areas of Leicestershire are on the same footing as towns and cities.
“Extending high-speed fibre into more rural areas will enable households to better access online movies and TV, communicate with family and friends and work more effectively from home.”
The county council anticipates the investment could generate £92million of economic growth by 2021.
Harborough District Council has contributed £500,000 towards the project.
For more information visit www.superfastleicestershire.org.uk.
People can type in their BT landline telephone number to find out the situation in their area.
Discontent in some areas
Not everyone is happy with the new broadband deals being lauded by County Hall and BT.
A group of parishes in south-east Leicestershire which are not being covered by phase one or two of the broadband rollout are lobbying to get included.
Some of those areas include Drayton, Horninghold, Blaston, Slawston, Hallaton, Medbourne, Ashley and Weston-by-Welland.
The Welland Valley Broadband Group estimates that more than 3,800 properties in the Harborough district are being excluded from the project.