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Major broadband upgrade will benefit 15,000 Cheshire homes and businesses


Freedom Fibre’s Senior Leadership Team celebrating the contract award in Cheshire.


Freedom Fibre has been awarded £43 million to upgrade broadband infrastructure in rural Cheshire as part of the government’s Project Gigabit rollout.


Thousands of rural homes and businesses in Cheshire will gain access to lightning-fast broadband after a £43 million contract was awarded to Freedom Fibre as part of the government’s Project Gigabit rollout.


This contract will offer over 15,000 hard-to-reach homes and businesses access to full fibre broadband, capable of delivering the fastest speeds on the market. Project Gigabit is a £5 billion nationwide rollout targeted at people and businesses which would have missed out in the industry’s rollout of gigabit-capable broadband.


Following news of this award, Freedom Fibre will undertake a period of detailed design and survey work, with building work expected to commence early 2025. The rollout will cover several remote villages such as Kingswood, Allostock and Minshull Vernon.


As a result of this award, Freedom Fibre will also invest thousands of pounds in a broad range of socio-economic projects across the county including running its ‘Freedom Fund’ that will offer funding to support people in Cheshire attend training courses or help them back into employment. As part of this, Freedom Fibre will offer apprenticeship opportunities to Cheshire based candidates to strengthen employment opportunities and bridge the skill shortage.


Neil McArthur MBE, Founder and CEO of Freedom Fibre, said:

 “We’re delighted to have been awarded this contract, increasing full-fibre coverage across Cheshire and further strengthening our relationship with Building Digital UK and local authorities across the county. This investment in full-fibre will end over 100 years of copper-based services and unleash untold potential for homes and businesses across Cheshire.”

Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure, Julia Lopez, said:

 “Homes and businesses in rural Cheshire not covered by broadband suppliers' plans will get access to the fastest internet speeds available, thanks to this latest contract under the government’s Project Gigabit. “This government's investment in lightning-fast upgrades will benefit hard-to-reach communities all over the county, boosting productivity in local industries and helping households to stream, work and play without a hitch."

Councillor Michael Gorman, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council and chair of its economy and growth committee, said:

 “As the lead authority for the Connecting Cheshire Partnership, Cheshire East Council welcomes this further investment into vital broadband services. “It will provide much needed connectivity improvements to areas across Cheshire, Halton and Warrington that are yet to receive the high-speed connectivity that is increasingly so critical for economic and social needs. “We will support the government and Freedom Fibre and assist where we can in the delivery of this exciting project. This major investment will make a real difference to many local residents and businesses and will benefit the Cheshire region immensely.”

Cllr Nathan Pardoe, Cheshire West and Chester Council Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy, Regeneration and Digital Transformation, said:

“Cheshire West and Chester Council is working with Freedom Fibre and other providers to roll out a lightning-fast, full-fibre broadband network to homes and businesses across the Borough, and we are delighted that rural areas will benefit from faster broadband. Full-fibre broadband is vital for people across our Borough, especially in rural areas to ensure they can stay connected to family, friends, entertainment and work. The improved reliability of full-fibre broadband is also crucial for businesses. Full-fibre broadband is part of the Council’s commitment to an Inclusive Economy, through expanding digital inclusion, ensuring access to the internet for all through enhancing digital connectivity, infrastructure, equipment and skills.”


Freedom Fibre is already delivering Project Gigabit in North Shropshire under a separate contract, where they were awarded £24 million to connect around 12,000 homes and businesses.


Freedom Fibre builds its network using state-of-the-art XGS-PON technology which capable of delivering lightning-fast speeds of up to 10Gbps. The alternative network provider has so far partnered with a range of internet service providers (ISPs) including TalkTalk, Yayzi, Squirrel, Fusion Fibre, MTH, Octaplus, Link and Beebu alongside LilaConnect which is owned by Freedom Fibre.


In March 2024, Freedom Fibre completed its merger with VX Fiber. The merged business has a combined footprint of almost 300,000 homes and continues to be ran by Freedom Fibre’s founder and CEO Neil McArthur MBE.


Residents can register their interest with Freedom Fibre to receive updates about the progress of the build.




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