Funding bid for rural broadband scheme welcomed
A MULTI-million pound funding bid to bring a £100 million superfast broadband scheme to rural parts of Devon and Somerset has now been submitted.
A joint application has been sent to the Government's Broadband Delivery UK agency, a £530million pot set aside for the so called "final third" of the country which is unlikely to be upgraded as part of the normal commercial process.
The bid has been submitted by five local authorities – the county councils of Devon and Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay unitary authorities and North Somerset Council.
It has been backed by all of the 19 MPs from across the two counties, the NHS, further education institutions, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and district councils.
In total, the scheme is for a £100 million upgrade
The scheme would enable a superfast service exceeding 20MB per second to 85 per cent of businesses and homes, with a minimum of 2MB per second to all premises by 2015.
Edmund Probert, partner at law firm Foot Anstey and chairman of Wired West, the network for IT professionals in the region, welcomed news of the scheme. "It's very exciting and very brave in the current economy to put forward a bid at that level. I really hope it succeeds – it's exactly what is needed," he said.