Cotwalton village in Stone has upgraded to ultrafast broadband

Residents in the village of Cotwalton, near Stone, have got their broadband upgraded from 3Mbps to 30Mbps, after becoming the first area to benefit from the Community Fibre Partnership Support Fund, of Staffordshire County Council.

The scheme, thought to be the first of its kind initiated by a local authority, gives participating properties access to ultrafast broadband. The partnership Superfast Staffordshire, led by Staffordshire County Council with the BT Group, launched the scheme earlier this year. This scheme is part of the partnership’s drive to bring areas of the county, the final 5% left out, not covered by any private or public sector broadband plan, to upgrade into the ultrafast fold.

The partnership, supported by the BDUK programme of the government, has a pot of £400,000 for co-funding projects. It can be used to match-fund the amount raised by an eligible community. Openreach would fund the extensive engineering work, as it is responsible of setting up digital infrastructure in UK, through the provider’s own Community Fibre Partnership programme.

Brian Scot who led the scheme, bringing the community together, said their tiny village in the middle of nowhere, would never be viable economically via a normal programme. He mentioned that having heard of the community fibre partnership, they found it a way for communities like them, to get funding, along with their own funds, to make a project of theirs take-off. He added, what was special about this, was the council also contributed and reduced the cost to residents. He definitely recommended that any village not included, in any normal superfast roll-out, can contact the council as easily as a phone call and the council would do the work to get the project running.

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