Two-thirds of rural households with access to superfast broadband have signed up – one of the highest sign-up rates in the country. These are households that have benefited from the roll-out of rural broadband by Oxfordshire County Council and BT, with support from the government.
Oxfordshire is in the top flight of areas for superfast broadband sign-up, according to figures provided by ISP Review. However, because Oxfordshire is unusual in the way its contract is structured, it is in fact one of the top three of UK areas for superfast broadband sign-up.
The high connection rate shows the appetite for superfast broadband across Oxfordshire. The high sign-up rates reflect the nature of the county’s thriving economy with a growth in high quality jobs, and the composition of newly connected high-tech SMEs and creative industries such as Creative Associates Design & Comms Ltd, whose MD, Karen Reynolds said: “Faster data transfer and internet access has enabled us to complete and deliver work much more quickly than at standard broadband speeds. We can also enjoy better video and VOIP conferencing with our international clients without experiencing a peak-time slow down”.
Cllr David Bartholomew, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Communication said:
“Superfast broadband take-up has exceeded all expectations. When the programme started it was anticipated take-up would be 25%, not 66%, and the contract with BT was negotiated on this basis. This very much higher rate has resulted in gainshare payments that have flowed back to the county council to be reinvested in the programme to further increase the number of homes that have access. A win-win for all concerned.”
Matt Warman MP, Minister for Digital & Broadband, said:
“The Government has invested £1.8 billion bringing superfast broadband to more than five-million premises, around 70% of which are in rural areas. So it’s fantastic that two-thirds of Oxfordshire households are now taking advantage of this connectivity, which will provide a major boost to the local economy."