MORE than 13,000 Wiltshire homes and businesses now have access to fibre optic broadband thanks to Greater Western Broadband.

GWB is the multi-million pound public and private sector partnership between Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire Councils and BT with additional funding from the UK Government’s Superfast Britain programme and the European Regional Development Fund.

The partnership exceeded their original target of reaching 10,000 premises in Wiltshire by the end of June, and have set a new target to bring fibre broadband to 30,000 homes and businesses in the county by the end of this year, as the roll out continues to gather pace.

The news comes as the Government announced that more than one million UK homes and businesses now have access to superfast broadband as a result of the UK wide rollout.

The new service means speeds of more than 24Mbps will be available to 91 per cent of the properties in Wiltshire by March 2016 or sooner, as nearly 1,500 kilometres of fibre optic cable are laid, and over 300 street cabinets are installed across the county.

Wiltshire Council cabinet member with responsibility for broadband, John Thomson, said: “This project continues to gather pace. The roll out will continue over the coming months and I look forward to more and more homes gaining access to this vital service which can make an enormous difference to people’s lives.”