A PIONEERING partnership between Ollerton residents and Openreach, BT’s local network business, is to make superfast fibre broadband available to around 65 houses in the village.

Openreach will install new fibre optic cabling and a new green road-side cabinet equipped with the latest Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology.

Superfast speeds of more than 24Mbps will be available for the first time to the community, located in the School Lane area, from a wide range of broadband service providers.

The community partnership is the first to benefit from funding through the Government’s 'better broadband subsidy scheme' and will see residents get the high-speed service next year.

The scheme allows households with internet speeds of less than 2Mbps, who are not included in any current programme to rollout high-speed fibre broadband, to get funding for better broadband using any technology.

Ollerton residents were awarded £350 per eligible household towards a new fibre broadband network.

The entire cost of bringing fibre broadband technology to residents in and around School Lane has been covered by the scheme and Openreach’s investment.

George Osborne, MP for Tatton, said: “As your local MP, I fight for every community here in Cheshire - no matter how large or small.

"I've been working hard with residents in Ollerton and BT to find a way to get superfast broadband to the village.

"That's because this broadband is essential to modern life - and I don't want Cheshire to miss out.

"Far from Ollerton missing out, it has become the very first village in the country to benefit from this new national scheme that the government I was part of set up.

"That's great news and I hope it's just a start in connecting up the most rural parts of Cheshire.”

David Malkinson, who set up Connecting Ollerton, the community group to campaign for faster broadband, said: “As we progress more towards an online world, the absence of a fast internet connection is felt more every year.

"More and more young professional families are coming to the area, many of whom regularly work from home. Our existing connection just doesn’t work for what most people need.

“Broadband is really a fourth utility service, and the benefits of the upgraded service are far bigger than perhaps many people realise. This really future proofs the community, and I’m very excited to see this service going live next year.”

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for next generation access, said: “We have been working closely with the people of Ollerton and the Government to agree this new funding solution to bring superfast fibre to the local community and it’s fabulous news that the contract has now been signed. This is a significant first for our Community Fibre programme and we’re keen to have conversations with other communities who might be able to benefit from this approach.”