Warwickshire council welcomes broadband funding decision

Monday, August 22nd 2011
Warwickshire County Council has welcomed the government's new superfast broadband funding plans.
Warwickshire council welcomes broadband funding decision
Warwickshire County Council has responded positively to the government's announcement that new broadband funding is to be allocated to the region.

The local authority, which is allying with Coventry City Council, Solihull Borough Council and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership to roll out superfast broadband services in the area, has welcomed news that just over £4 million is to be offered by central government to support this project.

This funding will allow high-speed internet connections to be provided to around 120,000 properties that are currently outside planned superfast broadband networks, a figure that represents 25.1 per cent of the total number of premises in the area.

By equipping homes with this service, homeowners will be able to access streaming video content such as the BBC iPlayer with greater ease, as well as paying bills and downloading e-books.

Superfast broadband will also help to improve council services and school facilities, while assisting adult residents in gaining new online skills.

Councillor Alan Cockburn, portfolio holder for sustainable communities at Warwickshire County Council and member of the local enterprise partnership board, said he was "pleased as punch" with the news, adding that many rural communities are currently at a disadvantage due to their lack of internet access.

"This will enable us to equip our homes and offices with a strong digital structure to ensure we have a system fit for the 21st century," he added.

Warwickshire's award comes as part of a wider UK broadband funding scheme that will see £363 million from a £530 million pot allocated to improving broadband connections in rural England and Scotland.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has stated that fast broadband has become essential to the economic growth of the UK, both in terms of public service delivery and day-to-day living.

He said: "We are not prepared to let some parts of our country get left behind in the digital age."

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