County to go superfast

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INTERNET: The OK button has been pressed for a project to bring superfast broadband to the whole of Northants

THE OK button has been pressed for a project to bring superfast broadband to the whole of Northamptonshire.

Last week the Government said because of the progress the county has already made it will now be among the first wave of the national role out programme.

Earlier in the year the Government agreed to match fund the £4.08million ploughed into the scheme by Northants County Council. If succesful the project will deliver speeds of 30Mb/sec to 90 per cent of the county by 2015, and a 100 per cent by 2017.

Currently some rural areas suffers speeds of just 2Mb/sec. The county is one of five other authorities given the green light to start the tendering process for infrastructure improving which is set to begin next year.

Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, NCC’s cabinet member for infrastructure and public protection, said: “Faster broadband speeds will have huge advantages for Northamptonshire as it will allow the county to be a strong competitor in the global digital economy and allow everyone to have access to new and improved services that are increasingly available online.

“This announcement is a significant step towards everyone having these fast internet speeds and this means we are well on schedule to meet our targets for the initiative.

“In the increasingly competitive global economy it is essential that superfast broadband is widely available and indeed when people are looking to re-locate, broadband speeds and reliability are paramount.”

Urban areas are generally well served with fast internet speeds because the relatively high population density means that it is commercially viable for companies, such as BT and Virgin, to provide the necessary infrastructure.

However rural areas tend to have much slower speeds as the cost of extending the infrastructure is not financially lucrative in areas where there are fewer potential customers.

One of the key purposes of the county council’s strategy is providing public sector funding for the work to plug the financial gap and make it commercially worthwhile for private firms to invest in superfast broadband across the whole county.

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