High Speed Broadband Scheme Proposed

HYPER fast and high capacity broadband services could be delivered to three-quarters of the borough under a new non-exclusive scheme being considered by the Council.

Internet service provider Hyperoptic is proposing to install high-speed fibre-based broadband capability to the Council’s own high-rise housing blocks at no cost to the Authority and then, over time, potentially to most of the borough.

This scheme will introduce more competition between suppliers delivering broadband services across the borough and increase tenants’ choice.

The Council has financed improvements for basic broadband delivery through the Superfast Berkshire Broadband Project until now but the next major step is to full-fibre which is capable of gigabit speeds.

The proposal is for Hyperoptic to install the facilities to the outside/public space of properties and tenants would then have the choice of taking up their services. The company will also provide, at their own cost, full-fibre and standard indoor Wi-Fi to up to three of the Council’s community hubs.

Hyperoptic, subject to further investment and surveys, has calculated this work will provide them with a base infrastructure to potentially reach residents and businesses in 75 per cent of the borough.

Cllr John Ennis, Lead Councillor for Housing, said:

“High quality broadband is now an essential part of life for most people and allows residents to access many services, including the Council’s. This scheme will also provide a huge benefit to users of our community hubs.”

Cllr Ellie Emberson, Lead Councillor for Corporate and Consumer Services, said:

“High quality and high capacity broadband is crucial for the economic success of a thriving town like Reading. This project has the potential to deliver the infrastructure which will increasingly be demanded by businesses and residents.”

Hyperoptic has more than 50 agreements with local authorities and housing associations and offers hyper-fast connectivity across 50 UK cities. The company has an established training base for engineers already in Reading and could bring further opportunities for jobs into the town as a result of this work.

Members of the Policy Committee will consider the proposal at a meeting on 26th September. The full report can be found at:  https://democracy.reading.gov.uk/documents/s8469/Hyperoptic%20Fibre.pdf

David Millward

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