BUSINESSES are celebrating after BT announced that Hemsworth and South Elmsall would be among the first communities to get super-fast fibre optic broadband.
The two towns and surrounding areas have been included in a £2.5billion roll out, which is due to be completed next year.
Local businesses and households will benefit from download speeds of up to 300 mega bytes per second (mbps) where the fibres go directly into homes and businesses, and up to approximately 80mbps where the fibres are delivered to street cabinets.
The current average speed for all UK broadband is 6.8mbps, according to research published by Ofcom in July.
Ben Brooks, general manager of LS Live on Langthwaite Business Park, South Kirkby, said: “Faster broadband will make a massive difference to our company. It is critical to our business that touring artists are able to send huge music and video files.
“It is really good news for us and will be a big attraction for potential customers.”
The plans - which are being delivered by BT’s local network business, Openreach - will allow internet users to do more online at the same time.
A song will be downloaded within two seconds, a CD within 30 seconds and a full length film in 10 minutes.
Upload speeds will allow large video and data files to be sent almost instantly.
The plans are subject to an acceptable environment for investment and might not be available to a small minority of premises due to the current network layout.
Coun Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council, said: “In these challenging economic times, the importance of this announcement from BT to the economy of Wakefield cannot be underestimated. It is good news for our district.
“Access to fast broadband is vital for local businesses and households. It gives employers a competitive edge and provides access to new markets with the potential of new jobs.“
John Anderson, BT’s regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “This latest major investment is a tremendous boost for Wakefield.
“Super-fast broadband will be welcomed by families throughout the area because it will help improve their quality of life and leisure and open new doors through online learning and fast access to information and services.
“And it’s also going to provide a huge fillip for businesses and the local economy. At a stroke, small and medium sized firms will have access to big business speeds at much lower costs allowing them to find new markets, boost their competitiveness and create new jobs.”
Visit www.superfast-openreach.co.uk for more information.