Broadband pylon against soft blue cloudy sky

Rural communities to benefit from digital upgrades

Thanks to millions of pounds worth of government funding, communities in rural areas of Oxfordshire and North East Staffordshire are to benefit from new broadband.

Funding worth £43 million is being allocated to improving the standard of broadband, with this helping to level up communities, improve the delivery of public services, and encourage economic growth. This also comes as part of the government’s Project Gigabit, which aims to utilise £5 billion to ensure that communities all over the country are able to access the same high standard of broadband.

Sir John Whittingdale, Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure, said:

“We want to make sure that no matter where you live or work, everyone has access to reliable internet which is why we’re spending billions to upgrade local networks.

“In rural Oxfordshire and North East Staffordshire, thousands will experience the positive impact fact and reliable broadband has as their connectivity improves, supporting households and businesses, fostering growth, and boosting productivity,

“Work will now begin in these areas covering around 16,000 properties and by facilitating the fastest connections, we are not just reaping the benefits now but positioning the UK for a future where our broadband infrastructure remains resilient for decades to come.”

With these improvements, not only will residents benefit from improved bandwidth, businesses will also be able to improve productivity and stimulate growth, leading to a more dynamic economic and potential prosperity delivery across the country. This will also help to further future-proof the UK, with up-to-date broadband standards.

Project Gigabit quote

Simon Tagg, Cabinet Member for environment, infrastructure and climate change at Staffordshire County Council added:

“Access to gigabit-capable broadband speeds is essential to our communities and businesses and so it’s excellent to see this reach extended by Connect Fibre through Project Gigabit.

“Faster broadband improves everyone’s day-to-day living, enabling people to access health, education, banking, and leisure services and more. It is also critical for business operations, growth, and increased productivity. Our Superfast Staffordshire programme was a huge success and made a real difference over the last decade – now gigabit capable connection is the next step.”

In Oxfordshire, Gigaclear has been awarded the contract to deliver the improvements, with the company already working to improve skills and employment opportunities for local people, as well as improving the standard of broadband. Through skills workshops and apprenticeship programmes, members of local communities will be able to access a potential career in the telecoms industry.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Leader, Cllr Liz Leffman, also commented:

“We are delighted that local firm Gigaclear has been awarded the Project Gigabit contract for delivery of full fibre broadband to thousands of Oxfordshire homes and businesses.,

“This public sector investment in digital infrastructure is critical to levelling up areas where commercial funding alone is insufficient to secure the money necessary to make this build happen.”


Image credit: iStock

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