ONE of Malvern's newest and largest estates has finally won its battle to secure superfast broadband.
Malvern Vale, off Leigh Sinton Road, was not included in BT's initial rollout of its superfast service to more than 15,000 homes and businesses in the town.
The Malvern Gazette and MP Harriett Baldwin campaigned for the estate to to be connected, and residents also lobbied BT with a petition.
And people power has paid off, with the superfast fibreoptic broadband service now being supplied to Malvern Vale.
Mrs Baldwin was joined by BT's regional director Ian Binks to officially switch on the fibre broadband cabinet at Swinyard Road, in Malvern Vale, today (Friday).
The switch-on at Malvern Vale, which has more than 350 homes, means that 99 per cent of homes and businesses in Malvern can now get superfast broadband.
Mrs Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire, said: “Malvern Vale was one of the more challenging cabinets in the town and I raised the concerns of residents with BT’s management on a number of occasions.
“I am pleased that the Superfast Worcestershire project team has been able to bring about this success story and I welcome their efforts to get faster connections to the hundreds of homes served by this cabinet.
“The good news is that Malvern is very nearly completely upgraded and I hope those people who are not yet connected in the town will get in touch with the county council.
“Meanwhile, I will be turning my attention to the many rural areas which are still having to cope with poor broadband service and I look forward to seeing many more cabinet upgrades in my constituency over the coming months.”
Mr Binks said: "This achievement is a real bonus for Malvern people and businesses. The engineers at BT’s local network business, Openreach, have worked hard to bring this fibre broadband network to as many as possible and we already know from expanding the coverage in the rest of the county that it can bring positive changes to people’s lives and work.”
The arrival of superfast broadband at Malvern Vale has been welcomed by resident Jackie Degville, who works for Natural England and lives with her daughter Sammie in Midsummer Close, just around the corner from the new cabinet.
“It means I can work from home, I can work more flexibly and it makes work more enjoyable," she said. "And it means my daughter gets to use all her devices – phones, tablets and the rest. What would teenagers do without broadband?”
The Superfast Worcestershire partnership is aiming to bring superfast speeds to at least 90 per cent of properties across Worcestershire.
It is being funded by up to £8.5 million from Worcestershire County Council, £8.9 million from BT and a further £3.35 million from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.
Simon Geraghty, deputy leader and cabinet member for economy, skills, and infrastructure at Worcestershire County Council, said: "High-speed fibre broadband is important for everyone to be able to make the most of the growing range of online services.
"Ensuring people and businesses can have the best possible experiences interacting via the internet is a vital part of the our strategy to support Worcestershire's future economy and keep the county open for business."