You may have noticed a slight change in the format of the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire website. This is because the programme has expanded to include several aspects of Digital Infrastructure, with ‘Better Broadband’ now one of several strands under the ‘Digital Infrastructure Programme:’
- BBfO – Better Broadband for Oxfordshire Programme (contract with BT signed in 2013 to extend superfast broadband coverage to 95% of Oxfordshire)
- BiRO – Businesses in Rural Oxfordshire (new DEFRA funded contracts with BT and Airband delivering ultrafast broadband to rural Oxfordshire)
- LFFN – Local Full Fibre Networks (includes the Rural and Gigabit Voucher Schemes)
- Mobile coverage including the rollout of 5G
The Better Broadband programme is now in the final stage of Phase 3 delivery, which is due to be completed later this year. Our focus now shifts to enabling Oxfordshire residents and businesses to benefit from full fibre broadband and the next generation of mobile – 5G. We have therefore evolved the programme to have the wider remit of, ‘Digital Connectivity for Oxfordshire.’ If you have contacted the Better Broadband Team before, you will notice that we will now be referred to as the ‘Digital Infrastructure Team.’
The Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme has brought superfast broadband to over 97% of homes and businesses, with 77,533 premises connected; 622kms of fibre laid; 625 fibre cabinets stood (and continuing!). Two-thirds of premises connected under the programme have upgraded to a superfast broadband service, which is one of the highest sign-up rates in the country. However, as the Better Broadband contract is coming to an end, the team is excited to be commencing the new strand of delivery for ‘Businesses in Rural Oxfordshire’ (BiRO), which is a £6.3m contract following our successful funding application to DEFRA. Further details will be announced at a later date.
The ‘Digital Infrastructure Programme’ is run by Craig Bower (Programme Director), Mark Hopping (Programme Manager), Claire Hutchins-Lee (Data Support Analyst) and Tamar Bowley (Communications & Events Coordinator) with Susan Halliwell (Director for Planning & Place) as the Executive Sponsor and Councillor David Bartholomew as the Cabinet Member for Finance & Communication.
If you have any questions, please contact the Digital Infrastructure Team at: Broadband@oxfordshire.gov.uk