Better Broadband for Oxfordshire is a £35m programme to bring fibre-enabled broadband (speeds of 24Mbps and above) to homes and businesses in Oxfordshire. The programme is a collaboration between Oxfordshire County Council, the Government (through BDUK) and BT, designed to boost the local economy by bringing broadband to the vast majority of residents and businesses across the county.
Phase 1 ended in December 2015 and brought superfast broadband to 90 percent of homes and businesses in all of Oxfordshire. Phase 2 will extend coverage to 95 percent by the end of December by 2017. In West Oxfordshire, Phase 2 is being delivered by West Oxfordshire District Council. In addition, a local partnership was formed in 2015 between Oxfordshire Local Enterprise (OxLEP), South East Midlands Local Enterprise (SEMLEP), the District Councils of South Oxfordshire, Cherwell, Vale of White Horse and Oxford City Council and the County Council to enable the programme to reach even more homes and businesses in Oxfordshire.
The local partnership contribution breakdown:
- South Oxfordshire District Council - £1.09 million
- Cherwell District Council - £545,000
- Vale of White Horse District Council - £272,000
- Oxford City Council - £168,000
- OxLEP - £2,045,000
- SEMLEP - £120,000
- BT - £13.3 million
- Oxfordshire County Council - £10.3 million
Phase 3 of the programme is due to run until December 2018 and is entirely funded by savings to date and the early contractual windfall paid by BT of £2.56m which has arisen due to the high levels of take-up (currently at above 45%) of services already delivered.
This has formed two new funds totalling £4m to go towards getting superfast broadband to another 3,000 households and business premises. In addition to this, a £600,000 fund for co-funding projects in conjunction with local communities has been established to run until December 2018.
This programme is now bringing significant social and economic benefits to rural areas where access to broadband has been previously slow or there has been a gap due to no commercial providers delivering the necessary infrastructure. By stepping in to fill the gaps not served commercially, both businesses and homes across the county will continue to benefit significantly.
Find out if you can access fibre broadband using our availability checker.
All residents and businesses should benefit
Making sure that everyone has access to some form of broadband connection will boost business efficiency, streamline and reduce costs for providing the council’s numerous customer services. It will also enrich leisure and social time. Almost everybody will benefit from this major investment.
The current rollout of superfast broadband is on track to deliver coverage to 95 percent of Oxfordshire by 2017. However, we are determined to help those with the slowest connections by providing, via a new satellite offer, an immediate boost to their available speeds ahead of any future planned improvements.
BDUK Better Basic Broadband Scheme
The Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme has been developed by the UK government to provide access to a subsidised broadband installation to homes and businesses that are unable to access a broadband service with a download speed of at least 2Mbps and who will not benefit from the superfast broadband rollout.
If you currently experience poor broadband speeds or are unable to obtain an affordable broadband service at all, the scheme will provide you with access to a basic broadband service that will offer speeds of at least 2Mbps.
The scheme has been developed by the UK government to ensure that every household and business in the UK can access an affordable basic broadband service. We define an affordable service as one that costs no more than £400 a year including installation, equipment and monthly fee.
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What’s the latest?
The Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme remains on track to deliver 75,600 superfast premises passed by December 2017 and the rigorous control of programme finances leaves us in very good shape.
We have now received our Phase 3 proposal from BT which offers additional coverage from contract efficiency savings to date. This proposal is currently under detailed review by the Better Broadband team, to determine if the proposal presents value for money and is offering coverage in the optimum areas. View the Better Broadband website from time to time, or contact the team.
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