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Shropshire Council confident about super-fast broadband strategy
The administration is looking to bring minimum speeds of 4Mbps to the whole county.Shropshire Council has said it is confident of securing government money to finance its next-generation broadband bids over the coming months.
The local authority was one of 18 to submit a bid for money from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) in the latest round of funding, in which £50 million was up for grabs.
It missed out to Norfolk, Wiltshire and a joint bid from Devon and Somerset, but is hopeful of winning support for the project in the next wave of BDUK handouts.
Under the council's plans to improve internet services in the county, 100 per cent of homes and businesses will get access to speeds of at least 4Mbps.
Super-fast broadband offering minimum download capabilities of 15Mbps will be deployed to the 18 market towns and "key settlements" in Shropshire.
If left to the open market, these communities would not receive the benefits of a fibre optic connection by 2015 - the year the government has targeted to achieve the best super-fast broadband network in Europe.
The administration believes an affordable internet service will be available to every property in the area by 2016 if its application to BDUK is approved.
Having been overlooked in the latest funding round, council chiefs are due to meet next Wednesday (June 15th 2011) to discuss the progress that has been made so far on their bid.
Martin Taylor-Smith, cabinet member for IT at Shropshire Council, said: "This money will be incredibly helpful in our quest to improve broadband provision both for businesses and residents of Shropshire.
"We are very hopeful of securing the funding in the next round of bids and I'm excited at the prospect of making a real difference to the lives of people living in the county's rural areas."
The government has ring-fenced £530 million to help bring super-fast broadband to the parts of the UK that will not be included in private sector rollout plans.