by Hannah Jones
SECRETARY of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden MP, visited Grappenhall Heys Community Primary school to showcase the roll-out of the government’s £5bn ‘Project Gigabit’.
Speaking at the site, Mr Dowden stressed the importance of the project, saying: “More and more of what we need to do has to be done online, it’s not possible not to participate in a digital economy.
“The new broadband is gigabit-capable, full-fibre, so that’s the fastest broadband on the planet.
“It stops the battle of the broadband, it stops the dreaded wheel of waiting, and at a school like this, the kids will get the very best broadband in the world.”
With many rural areas across Warrington left struggling to get online, Project Gigabit will see connection speeds grow around 1000 times as fast.
Well aware of the connection issues many residents face, Warrington South MP, Andy Carter, was eager to reassure constituents facing issues, explaining: “Lockdown has really shown us that access to fast broadband is crucial, not just for people working at home, but for people studying at home as well.
“Locally we’re looking at fibre partnerships in villages like Higher Walton to try and make sure residents that live in rural communities can get access to the broadband as well.
“It’s a project we’re working on at the moment, and, fingers crossed, we’ll be able to see Openreach install broadband into that area as well.”
With government allocated vouchers made available through the community fibre partnership, eligible residents and businesses are able to claim up to £1,500 and £3,500 respectively, with the funds going towards installation costs.
Warrington South MP Andy Carter (L), Headteacher Mrs. Jackson and Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden outside Grappenhall Heys Community Primary School