Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Millions Pledged for Superfast Worcester Broadband

By Ben Aulakh

A plan to bring superfast broadband to Worcestershire has been given £3.35 million of funding by the government.

Broadband Delivery UK – BDUK – a department of central government, has granted the Worcestershire County Council the money to enable it to deliver its Local Broadband Plan.

The plan includes targets to offer 90 per cent of the counties businesses and homeowner’s access extra fast internet, with the entire county able to access broadband of at least 2megabytes per second.

The council’ says its proposal for faster internet is vital to ensure companies are able to remain competitive and grow their businesses.

The £3.35million of funding is addition to £8.5million which has already been pledged to the local authority, with significant further funding also anticipated from private industry.

Cllr Adrian Hardman, Worcestershire County Council's Leader, said, “This funding will help us to further support the local economy as slower broadband speeds restrict the ability for businesses to operate.”

“We are committed to ensuring Worcestershire is Open for Business and faster broadband will support local businesses and add to the county's attractiveness for businesses looking to relocate.”

“I am pleased for our businesses and residents that our submission for this vital funding has been successful and we will now work to put our plans into action as quickly as possible.”

The next stage in the process of improving internet access across the county will be for the County to enter the National BDUK Procurement Framework this summer.

This will enable the county to begin negotiations with internet infrastructure suppliers and allow the council to spend the millions pledged by government, to help faster broadband speeds to reach communities as soon as possible.

Cabinet member for Transformation and Change Cllr David Thain said, “We already have ambitious targets for 2015 but will be working to put these in place as soon as possible and to increase speeds as much as we can with the funding available.

“We will continue our dialogue with suppliers to encourage private sector investment and so I would urge everyone in the County to show support to help us to make faster broadband for Worcestershire a reality.”

Residents and businesses can find out more and show support for faster broadband for Worcestershire by visiting www.worcestershire.gov.uk/broadband.

Photograph from www.broadband-expert.co.uk.

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