Broadband in Preston is set to hit superfast speeds as Lancashire County Council announced a mult-million pound round of investment.Advertisement
The county council will pump £4.7 million in to see speeds in excess of 30 Mbps made available to the majority of the county.
The public subsidy will be paid to BT to ensure where there are no providers or superfast broadband or no commercial plans to deploy superfast broadband, it will be made available.
Around 97% of the county should have access to superfast broadband by 2014 according to the council.
Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “We are determined to ensure that Lancashire continues to benefit from being at the forefront of this technology.
“Establishing this superfast broadband network will not only open up opportunities for businesses in Lancashire, it will revolutionise the way that people in the county, especially in rural or deprived areas, connect to the wider world.”
The county council are also pinning economic hopes on the broadband upgrade, with enterprise zones around Preston expected to be first in line to the faster speeds.
Edwin Booth, chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: “Superfast broadband has a critical role to play in increasing productivity and innovation across all areas of the economy in Lancashire. We want a thriving economy here in Lancashire and this will help us to achieve it.
“In terms of providing the necessary infrastructure for business in the 21st century, creating this network could be as important as the construction of the canals and railways was to the Industrial Revolution.”
Alongside Lancashire’s investment, £10.8m will be put in from Broadband Delivery UK – a sub division of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport – and the European Regional Development Fund will stump up £16.5m.
25 new jobs are expected to be created by the project and a £3m fund will be established to help small and medium sized businesses get the most out of superfast broadband.
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Image credit to Mark Botham