Another 10,000 Cheshire homes and businesses are due to have access to fibre broadband by summer 2017 as a result of the £6.5m second phase of the Connecting Cheshire programme.
Councils in Cheshire East, Cheshire West & Chester, Warrington and Halton have signed an agreement for the roll-out with supplier BT.
The Connecting Cheshire announcement will take fibre broadband coverage in Cheshire to more than 400,000 homes and businesses when BT's commercial roll-out of the technology is also taken into account.
Phase 2 funding comes from the following sources:
- Broadband Delivery UK, a government initiative, £1.82m
- Cheshire Councils £1.82m
- Rural Community Broadband Fund £643,000
- BT £1.7m
Work will start on the planning of the additional network in autumn 2015.
More than 48,000 premises have already been reached out of a total of 80,000 covered by the first phase of the Connecting Cheshire programme, which will finish at the end of 2015. In part of the second phase more than £600,000 from the Rural Community Broadband Fund will be targeted at especially difficult places to reach in Cheshire.
Connecting Cheshire has just finished a consultation to pinpoint the areas to be included in this part of the programme. Further announcements about the areas with additional coverage will be made during 2015, once the network planning and design phase has been completed by BT.