Forging ahead in Wigan broadband rollout

Superfast broadband can now be accessed by almost every home and business in the borough, it has been revealed.

Wednesday, 31st January 2018, 11:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 31st January 2018, 12:05 pm
99.2 per cent of Wigan connections can be updated to better speeds

The Government announced it had reached its target of extending superfast broadband coverage to 95 per cent of the UK by the end of 2017.

In the Wigan borough, 99.2 per cent of homes and businesses can upgrade their internet connections to speeds of 24 Mbps or faster.

That is more than double what Ofcom advise is required by a typical family home.

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Even faster internet connections of more than 30 Mbps are available in 99.13 per cent of the borough, according to the data from Think Broadband.

Emma Barton, assistant director for economy and regeneration at Wigan Council, said: “We are incredibly passionate about the many benefits embracing digital technology can bring to our residents and businesses.

“We’ve been working in partnership with BT and Transport for Greater Manchester on this programme which is all part of our efforts to boost the local economy and it is fantastic news our programme is almost complete.

“We are committed to achieving our ambition for 100 per cent coverage and are working hard with our local communities to unblock issues in some of the more challenging areas.

“We are leading the way in terms of digital transformation and getting people online as part of The Deal, ensuring that all our residents can enjoy the opportunities and benefits the internet has.

“High speed technology can change business and home life for the better – making sure that businesses are better connected to ensure Wigan works and providing greater access for our residents in the borough who don’t have access to the internet at home. Work can be done from home or the workplace and this will help to transform the local economy – encouraging businesses to invest in the borough – which is one of our top priorities.”

The Government says improved digital access has provided a “significant boost” to local economies, creating around 50,000 jobs.

Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “Over the last five years, the Government’s rollout of superfast broadband has made superfast speeds a reality for more than 4.5 million homes and businesses who would otherwise have missed out.

“We’ve delivered on our commitment to reach 95 per cent of homes and businesses in the UK, but there’s still more to do in our work building a Britain that’s fit for the future.

“We’re reaching thousands more premises every single week and the next commitment is to making affordable, reliable, high speed broadband a legal right to everyone by 2020.”