Digital Region Network Closure

You may have heard the news this week regarding the uncertain future of the Digital Region network. Digital Region is a scheme to roll out superfast fibre broadband to homes and businesses across the South Yorkshire region, backed by the four councils. This is a project that began in 2010 and has been slowly working its way through the postcodes in the region, to enable businesses and consumers alike to benefit from Superfast Fibre Broadband. ESP Projects has referred several of our clients to this service, and indeed use Digital Region at our own office.

Unfortunately, it’s looking like the project has been not been as successful as the stakeholders hoped, resulting in the release of the following statement late week:

“There have been significant developments in the broadband market and it is no longer financially viable to keep the [Digital Region] project up and running. The focus will now be on obtaining the best possible deal for taxpayers and ensuring a smooth transition for existing Digital Region customers to another provider so that services are not disrupted.”

From an ESP Project’s perspective, although the service has not been without its teething problems, it has been generally stable once live and indeed represented the *only* viable and affordable option for clients in need of faster broadband than the standard offerings. It is, therefore, a great shame that we cannot continue to recommend it for new connections. However, the closure of the project should have the way for other Fibre (Superfast Broadband) providers to enter the region and/or take over the Digital Region network.

In the meantime, our principal concern is continuity of service for those who currently have it (including us!). If you have a Digital Region connection, you will be aware already of the ISP that provides it to you. For the majority of our clients, this is Origin Broadband. Earlier this week, we spoke to Origin and they have stated that they will be working to ensure all customers continue to be provided with a super fast service. They should be in touch with all customers over the coming weeks to advise of any developments. Any transitions or changes are unlikely to happy for a number of months, but for any immediate questions on this topic, Origin themselves should be contacted. Their helpline is on 0800 206 2333.

Clearly, ESP Projects will continue to monitor the situation.