SUPERFAST broadband being rolled out across the county has reached the milestone of 40,000 premises covered, though some fear still being lumbered with slow speeds.

On Friday the 200th cabinet ‘went live’ in North Oxfordshire, giving another 200 homes access to a faster internet connection.

The £30.1m Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme is a partnership between the county council and BT.

It aims to give 71,000 homes and businesses access to superfast broadband speeds of 24 megabits per second and above by the end of 2017.

Our top stories

The current average home broadband speed is about 12Mbps.

County council leader Ian Hudspeth said a rapid internet connection was “increasingly becoming a vital part of modern living”.

Regional director for BT broadband partnerships Steve Henderson said: “This is a huge engineering undertaking and the roll-out is progressing extremely well. “Whether it’s children doing their homework or playing games online, grandparents staying in touch with families on the other side of the world or people working or running a business from home – everything is easier.”

The newest recipient of speedy broadband was Adderbury village, near Banbury. The new cabinet is one of five in the area, connecting a total of 1,000 homes.

Schoolchildren at Christopher Rawlins CofE primary school were given an insight into the technology by BT Openreach engineers before the Oxford Road switch-on.

Rory Archibald-Hudson, 10, said: “We are really excited about the new broadband. It was cool to handle the cable and fibre node.”

But people in some areas of the county remain unconvinced they will reap any benefit from the programme.

The Government’s policy is to provide broadband to 95 per cent of UK homes by December 2017, but some of the five per cent left behind include parts of Oxfordshire such as Godington, northeast of Bicester, Uffington village and Fernham, both near Faringdon.

Roger Truelove, who runs horse breeder and provider Godington Stud, said he expected service in rural areas to remain unchanged.

Mr Truelove said he had an internet speed of about 3.5Mbps, adding: “It’s adequate, for 10 years ago. It’s okay for browsing, as long as it’s nothing complicated, but it’s very restrictive when it comes to doing anything with video or uploading files.”

He said that although the area was scheduled to have faster broadband, the cabinet would be placed in Stratton Audley village, about 3.5km away.

He said: “It won’t make any difference.”

In Uffington, Fox & Hounds pub and bed and breakfast employee Graham Healy said the building was the only one in the High Street with a broadband connection.

He said: “People come in here wanting to use our internet – and the more people that do that, the slower it goes.”