Blackpool £1bn Regeneration
Blackpool sees the digital infrastructure investment as part of its £1bn growth plan. Image: Our Studio

Councils upgrade social housing broadband

Tameside and Blackpool have signed up to ClearFibre’s new social housing focused broadband solution, called WeFibre, a full fibre service that will offer residents 1Gbps for £20 a month.

ClearFibre, part of Telcom Group, this week unveiled WeFibre, its new Gigabit-capable fibre-to-the-premises broadband service, which will be connected to the first customers in Q1 2021. Customers will have unlimited usage, no line rental charges and, importantly, no-contract for those that may not be able to get credit.

Tameside aims to connect 50,000 premises and Blackpool 100,000 premises by the end of next year.

Tony Doyle, head of ICT Services at Blackpool Council, said: “The Fibre Blackpool project is working with residents and businesses in the local area to futureproof their homes and businesses so they can take advantage of full fibre, gigabit internet capability. Access to gigabit capable full fibre services puts Blackpool hugely on the map in terms of offering among the fastest connectivity speeds in the whole of the UK, which will further boost our ambitious economic development agenda and our drive to attract more inward investment, business growth, new business, and more jobs into Blackpool.”

Cllr Oliver Ryan, Tameside Council executive member for finance and economic growth, said: “It’s fantastic our residents and businesses will soon be able to access internet connections of this speed through WeFibre. This extremely reliable internet connection will strengthen our thriving digital sector, ensuring things like video conferences run smoothly. Tameside Council is committed to ensuring our borough is at the forefront of the digital revolution and we will continue to work with tech companies like WeFibre to bring the best new technologies to our residents.”

WeFibre will also be providing a business broadband package with 1Gbps average upload and download speeds, premium installation, business support and the latest Mesh Wi-Fi technology for just £50 per month, excluding VAT.

WeFibre will be focusing on building both urban and rural deployments to ensure an inclusive rollout for this new service offering, with a specific focus on social housing and housing associations. As part of the first phase of the deployment of this new service, WeFibre is investing £5m in Marsden, West Yorkshire to build a new full fibre network, which will be capable of delivering gigabit broadband speeds to more than 2,200 premises by 2021.

Shaun Gibson, Telcom Group co-CEO, said: “We believe the UK deserves a commercially disruptive, digitally inclusive and truly impactful new internet service provider that stands for doing what’s right for the consumer. This new initiative is something that no other service provider has dared to do despite having the resources to do so for some time. We are excited to start the rollout of our full fibre network in the North West and hope we set an example for others to follow. In deploying its network, WeFibre will create a full fibre infrastructure that will benefit residents, businesses and public services and enable the deployment of 5G and smart city projects throughout Marsden, Tameside and Blackpool with more locations to follow shortly.”

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