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Video and community workshops in Rutland will highlight benefits of superfast broadband and how to get it

It’s hoped a new video and community workshops highlighting the benefits of faster broadband speeds will encourage more people in Rutland to check if they’re able to upgrade.

Presented by independent broadband expert Rob Kirwan, and produced by the Digital Rutland partnership between Rutland County Council and Openreach, the short film features local residents and business owners who’ve already upgraded to a superfast broadband connection, and encourages others to do the same.

The film can be viewed online at www.rutland.gov.uk/digitalrutland and was part-funded by UK government.

A BT Openreach engineer working on broadband connection (7510472)
A BT Openreach engineer working on broadband connection (7510472)

More than 96 per cent of homes and businesses in Rutland can already upgrade, and more than six out of ten – the highest in the country - have already done so. But it’s thought many people might not be aware it’s available, think they’ve automatically been upgraded or mistakenly believe it’s going to be too expensive.

Council leader Oliver Hemsley (Con) said: “Making superfast broadband as widely available as possible is a priority for the council, and our work with Openreach has made a huge impact right across the county. We’ve taken faster speeds into our most rural communities, transforming the way people can use the internet for home life or business use.

“It’s proving really popular but we still hear from people who are don’t realise they can order superfast broadband, months after we’ve made the service available where they live. The best place to check what’s available to your home or business, is to check the Openreach website, or contact Digital Rutland directly. Upgrading doesn’t always cost more money either. There’s a huge amount of choice from a wide range of broadband providers, and in many cases there is no cost difference.”

At home, high-speed fibre broadband makes everything quicker online. It also means everyone can watch, download and do what they want online at the same time.

For businesses, it can increase productivity, with new things possible including talking to colleagues, clients or suppliers through high-quality video calls. Or you can do things like use shared online workspaces to collaborate with others quickly and efficiently.

Upgrading doesn’t happen automatically. People living or working a fibre-enabled area need to contact their service provider to enquiry about upgrading to a fibre package.

Carl Sproston, Openreach’s partnership director for the Midlands, said: “Our role is to put in place the broadband network that enables people to do what they need now, but to also future-proof things for generations to come. Technology moves on at such a pace and having fast and reliable broadband becomes more important each and every day. I’d advise everyone living and working in Rutland to visit the Openreach website and check what services are available to them. And because Openreach’s network is open, people can still choose a broadband company package of their choice.”

Across Rutland, superfast broadband has been made available to around 10,000 homes and businesses since 2012, thanks to the work of the Digital Rutland partnership. It’s in addition to the thousands of premises also covered by Openreach’s commercial rollout.

As part of efforts to increase the take up of superfast broadband even further in Rutland, a series of free workshops have been organised and will take place in local communities throughout March, offering expert advice on how to upgrade:

  • Rutland County Museum: Monday, March 11, 10am to 11am
  • The Northwick Arms, Ketton: Monday, March 11, 6pm to 7pm
  • Uppingham Town Hall: Tuesday, March 12, 10am to 11am
  • Market Overton Village Hall: Tuesday, March 12, 6pm to 7pm
  • Oakham Scout Hut: Wednesday, March 13, 10am to 11am
  • Whissendine Village Hall: Wednesday, March 13, 6pm to 7pm
  • Victoria Hall Oakham: Thursday, March 14, 10am to 11am
  • Langham Village Hall: Thursday, March 14, 7pm to 8pm

For more information about Digital Rutland visit www.rutland.gov.uk/digitalrutland.

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