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Crawley businesses to get faster broadband speeds
28th November 2014

Hundreds of businesses at Crawley’s Manor Royal can now enjoy faster broadband speeds thanks to a collaboration between the West Sussex Better Connected project, BT and Manor Royal Business Improvement District (BID).

The announcement marks a half-way point in the roll out of Manor Royal’s new fibre broadband infrastructure as the first fibre cabinets go live across the business district.

The Better Connected multi-million pound partnership is jointly funded by West Sussex County Council, BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).

Its aim is to extend fibre broadband coverage to those areas which fall outside the private sector’s commercial fibre broadband plans.

Manor Royal Business Improvement District is working with the Better Connected partnership to achieve its goal of delivering 100 per cent fibre broadband coverage across the 540 acre site, which is home to more than 500 companies.

A combination of investment by the BID and the West Sussex Better Connected initiative will ensure that every business, new and existing, will be able to benefit from this improvement.

Trevor Williams,Thales UK and Chairman of Manor Royal Business District Limited said: “Our collaboration with West Sussex Better Connected and BT is an excellent example of what a good partnership can do. Due to the BID’s investment in this important infrastructure, companies located at Manor Royal are now able to take advantage of the latest technology. This has been a priority project for the BID team and we are delighted that the first phase of the project is now live. We look forward to celebrating 100% fibre coverage in the new year.”

One of the first businesses to sign up for the new faster broadband service is Split Image Ltd, a commercial photographic studio. Managing director Mark Curtis said: “I’m over the moon that faster fibre broadband has finally arrived at Manor Royal,

“As a company, we need to be able to send large video and image files to our customers quickly, wherever they are in the world. Previously, slow upload speeds were restricting the service we could offer. I had considered moving my business to another area because I couldn’t foresee a resolution to the problem of lack of faster broadband. Also, as a small business, we simply couldn’t afford the expense of commercially leased lines. But thanks to the BID focus on this problem and the partnership they were able to form with the West Sussex Better Connected project, we’re now able to enjoy a faster, more affordable and reliable broadband service. As a result, we definitely plan to stay.”

Cllr Lionel Barnard, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Residents Services, said, “Faster broadband is a necessity for many companies, helping them to compete in national and international markets. By working in partnership with West Sussex Better Connected, Manor Royal will be able to transform broadband speeds for all of its businesses; securing its vibrancy as a major business district.”

Dave Axam, BT’s South East Regional Director commented, “This is great news for the Manor Royal business district and the joint partnership. High-speed broadband helps businesses grow, attracting inward investment and providing a boost to the local economy. Whatever you do on-line you can do it better with fibre broadband.”

For further information about the West Sussex Better Connected project visit: www.westsussex-betterconnected.org.uk



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