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Salford races ahead with gigabit broadband

Salford City Council has announced that it’s going to have one of the fastest Internet connections in the public sector, at least until someone announces another one. It’s going to roll out a gigabit broadband across its housing portfolio, making this comparable with private sector in terms of connectivity.

This is the result of a major deal with broadband supplier Hyperoptic, which will offer internet links to these council properties:

  • Beech Court
  • Salix Court
  • Thorn Court
  • Spruce Court
  • Holm & Plane Court
  • Whitebeam
  • Hornbeam
  • Malus Court

Installation has started at these locations. The technology allows fibreoptic connections up to the premises rather than having them stop short in the street and have the last few metres taken up with old-fashioned copper cabling, which has in the past caused bottlenecks and slowing down of networks.

In principle this should make IT professionals more comfortable about people working from home, or otherwise flexibly, as fibreoptic is typically more secure than copper cables and a robust connection is obviously preferable to a weaker one.

The supply deal supports Salford City Council’s Digital Together campaign, which aims to get more people online in a drive to improve their job and life chances. It is being supported by a programme where residents will train neighbours on how to use the internet effectively. Each volunteer will be provided with a tablet to train others. in return they get to keep their iPad if they train over 20 people a year, their broadband will be paid for and they will receive training.

Paul Dennett, assistant mayor for innovation, growth and prosperity for Salford City Council said in the launch announcement: “The world is being transformed by a series of profound technological changes. Digital technology is changing our lives, our economy, our work and society. Through our regeneration work in Pendleton we have set in place the technological infrastructure that gives people living there an impressive digital capability and offer. Council owned homes aren’t often seen as being ahead of the technological curve, but in Salford we realise technological developments are critical to creating vibrant communities, whiet ensuring the sustainability of regeneration.”