Lancashire council signs £62.5m superfast broadband deal


Lancashire council signs £62.5m superfast broadband deal

Kathleen Hall

Lancashire County Council has agreed a £62.5m deal to roll-out superfast broadband across the county.

The deal is part of the government’s plans to improve rural areas of the country. BT will contribute £30 million to the project, £10.8m will come from the government’s broadband delivery vehicle BDUK, £16.5m from the European Regional Development Fund and £5.2m from local councils.

The project will extend fibre broadband across the county, reaching 97% of premises by the end of 2014.

It is hoped the move will boost the local economy by creating around 2,500 jobs and protecting more than 1,200 jobs over the next few years.

The project is also hoped to benefit areas receiving under 2Mbps, which account for 15% of premises in Lancashire according to Ofcom.

Edwin Booth, chairman of Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: “The project will transform the broadband landscape across the county and ensure that local businesses can become global businesses. It will ensure that firms remain here and it will also attract a more diverse range of high growth, high value companies to the county.”

Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “Today our ambition to provide Lancashire's citizens and business with a world-class broadband service turns into a reality. It is important that as many areas as possible benefit, and that is why we have ensured that even the more remote areas of the county see a significant improvement in their speeds.”

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