Ed Vaizey switches on superfast broadband in Yate and Old Sodbury

Gazette Series: Minister Ed Vaizey cuts the ribbon with councilors Ruth Davis and John Goddard, Bill Murphy, from BT, David Perry, director of corporate resources at South Gloucestershire Council and Paul O'Collins from Business West Minister Ed Vaizey cuts the ribbon with councilors Ruth Davis and John Goddard, Bill Murphy, from BT, David Perry, director of corporate resources at South Gloucestershire Council and Paul O'Collins from Business West

COMMUNICATIONS Minister Ed Vaizey has welcomed the arrival of superfast broadband in parts of Yate and Old Sodbury during a visit to the district.

Mr Vaizey met with councillors and representatives from Business West for the switch on of the service on North Road in Yate on Wednesday (December 18). It comes after South Gloucestershire Council united with Wiltshire Council and BT for a £36.5million project to bring superfast broadband to parts of the region not covered comercially.

Street cabinets in North Road, and several properties in Old Sodbury, were selected to ‘go live’ as part of the Great Western Broadband partnership on Super Switch On Day, a national initiative which saw areas in different parts of the country switch on at the same time.

Mr Vaizey said: “The switching on of superfast broadband in South Gloucestershire is great news for both local residents and businesses.

“Broadband is an essential part of South Gloucestershire's present and future. It is vital that we embrace this latest generation of technology in order for our economy to remain competitive.”

Cllr John Goddard, chairman of South Gloucestershire Council’s resources sub-committee, said: “Super switch on day will come as a welcome boost for the economic prosperity of yet more of our local businesses and communities in South Gloucestershire who will soon have access to superfast broadband.”

Around 45 businesses are set to benefit from the switch on in North Road as the selected cabinets serve the Stover Road business park. A number of residential properties in Old Sodbury will also have the chance to take advantage of the new technology straightaway and more will have the opportunity once the roll-out is complete.

The partnership, which also receives funding from the government’s Superfast Britain programme, is aiming for 94 per cent of premises in South Gloucestershire to have access to superfast speeds of 24Mbps and above by the end of March 2015.

Phil Smith, managing director of Business West, said: “Superfast broadband is about much more than speeding up your email or web browsing. It can transform the way that you do business. Superfast connections offer a more reliable and consistent service – which is a crucial issue for businesses – whilst opening up new markets and boosting productivity.

“We are urging ambitious businesses with strong growth potential to visit our website and find out more about the service – it has the potential to revolutionise the way they operate.”

The partnership is also welcoming the launch of Superfast Business, which will see more than 40 businesses across South Gloucestershire benefit from more than £280,000 investment from the European Regional Development Fund.

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