£24m for Shropshire broadband

Freedom Fibre awarded new contract to provide superfast broadband to some 12,000 homes and businesses as part of government’s Project Gigabit. 

The Manchester-based telecoms specialist will begin construction of a new network in February 2024 under the three-year contract. It’s a major project, expected to take about eight months before the first customers can connect to a new, high-speed broadband service.

fibre, cable, wire 

But the upgrade aims to transform broadband speeds and reliability for residents and businesses across North Shropshire – including Bomere Heath, Cheswardine, Clive, Cockshutt, Hadnall, High Ercall and Hinstock. 

Freedom Fibre will also invest thousands of pounds in a range of socio-economic and environmental projects across the region where the network will be constructed. This includes a ‘Freedom Fund’ offering money for community-led green projects.   

The investment comes as part of the UK government’s £5bn Project Gigabit, which aims to provide very high speed, gigabit-capable broadband to hard-to-reach communities across the UK.  

Neil McArthur, CEO of Freedom Fibre CEO, says: ‘We are delighted to be selected to deliver the latest full-fibre broadband technology as part of the North Shropshire Gigabit project. 

‘Freedom Fibre is already delivering these services to rural homes and businesses across north-west Shropshire and is pleased to be expanding our services to 12,038 homes and businesses in North Shropshire.’ 

Cllr Robert Macey, Shropshire Council cabinet member with responsibility for Culture and Digital, adds: ‘This £24m investment is great news for communities and businesses in Shropshire as gigabit-capable broadband further enhances our ability to be a digital county.’ 

Sir John Whittingdale, Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure, says: ‘Delivering the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy, Project Gigabit is equipping regions like North Shropshire with state-of-the-art connectivity infrastructure and preparing them for the digital age, ushering in a new wave of opportunity and economic growth.’ 

The development of new full-fibre networks in rural areas of the UK is supported through funding from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Its Gigabit voucher scheme provides money to help with the substantial build costs so that more people can benefit from ultrafast broadband technology.   

A recent government policy paper specified its ambitions for wireless infrastructure, with gigabit broadband reaching at least 85% of UK premises by 2025 and at least 99% by 2030.

Photo by Lucent_Designs_dinoson20


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top