Shrewsbury town centre could become one of the 'best-connected' in the UK, thanks to a project to revolutionise the broadband speed available to premises. Shrewsbury BID gives this update on the new Full Fibre network.
Work has started on a much-needed project to revolutionise the broadband speed available to retail and office premises in Shrewsbury - which could see the town centre becoming one of the best-connected of its kind in the UK.
Shrewsbury BID is working closely to support Full Fibre who are building the network, which due to the historical nature of Shrewsbury town centre is hugely complex, with substantial obstacles being overcome during the rollout.
Landlords and businesses and are now being urged to get behind the project, to bring faster connection speeds to the centre of Shrewsbury, and better efficiency for local shops and businesses.
Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, said: “Broadband coverage in Shrewsbury town centre varies massively, and a lot of our members tell us they are hampered on a daily basis by poor connectivity, with average download speeds across the town centre flatlining below 20Mbps and upload speeds being very poor.”
Now, as the network rolls out across the town centre, businesses and residents will have access to 100% fibre optic ultrafast internet, which provides more dependable internet connections, with 1Gbps download speeds. A very significant upgrade.
Seb added: “We are delighted that Full Fibre have committed to building the new fibre network across the town centre using existing underground ducting. We are now talking to town centre property owners where permissions are required to install a small terminal box allowing the service to be provided to nearby businesses and residents. A big thank you to local landlords and agents who have already given their support to the project.”
Matt Smith, Head of Public Procurement and Engagement at Fibre Heroes, said: “We are excited to be building a full fibre network in Shrewsbury town centre. Town centres are often neglected by telecoms providers like Openreach as they are the most complex areas to upgrade. Our team are working really hard to overcome the challenges that have prevented others from upgrading the town centre, and we’re really grateful to the landlords that have worked with us so far.
“We have begun rolling out the network across the town centre already and our technology will provide the future-proofed solution to the town centre’s long-term connectivity needs.”
Local businesses will be able to access these new services through a large and ever-growing number of broadband providers active on the Full Fibre network. This includes local business ISPs such as Connexis.
Two of the first businesses to access the new connection are Tanners Wines and The Lion and Pheasant hotel in Wyle Cop.
Jim Littler, of The Lion and Pheasant, added: “A fast internet connection is a must-have for any business, so we are delighted to be one of the first premises to connect to this new fibre service.
“Not only is a faster connection important for us to function efficiently as a business, it also improves the experience for our customers too.
“It's great that Shrewsbury BID is backing this project, and we hope the whole of the town centre will soon have access to the kind of high-speed internet connection which every business needs.”
James Tanner, Chairman of Tanners, added: “Historically, access to good quality high bandwidth connectivity has been an issue within the town centre.
“The provision of an affordable platform such as this, that gives us additional bandwidth whilst saving money compared to our previous service, enables Tanners Wines to focus on our core business activity, which gives businesses operating in the town centre a welcome competitive edge.”
Councillor Robert Macey, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and digital, said: “This is a significant step forward in providing strong digital connectivity for our businesses in the town centre, which will further enhance Shrewsbury as a place to do business.
“With major regeneration projects coming forward such as Smithfield Riverside, the availability of these fibre connections will be one of the reasons we remain attractive to future investment.”