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Councils meet first superfast broadband deadline

Kathleen Hall

All but two local authorities have met government deadlines to submit plans to roll out superfast broadband.

North Tyneside and South Tyneside were the only local authorities that failed to produce plans on time for taking superfast broadband to homes and businesses in their area.

The government has allocated money from a £530m fund to each local authority in England to help provide 90% of homes and businesses with superfast broadband access and everyone with access to at least 2Mbps.

Local authorities need to match the funding from the central allocation pot. But the expectation is that most will need to use funds from their own reserves or get grants from Europe, rather than raising private sector investment. 

Of a total of 45 projects broadband projects underway, 18 have been approved with the remainder to be approved by the end of April.

The government will look at running a national project covering any areas that fail to meet the timetable.

Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt said: “We set a demanding timetable and I’m pleased that we are making such fast progress. Virtually every local authority is on track to roll out superfast broadband. But we cannot afford to relax - we must continue to drive forward with taking superfast broadband to all areas of the UK.”

The areas said they will find 90% superfast broadband coverage through other means and have expressed no interest in using their allocated funding to go further.

 


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