Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pounds 19m Boost in Campaign for Fast Broadband; Hard-to-Reach Areas Could Benefit from New Funding

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pounds 19m Boost in Campaign for Fast Broadband; Hard-to-Reach Areas Could Benefit from New Funding

Article excerpt

Byline: William Green

CULTURE Secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday offered pounds 19m to help improve broadband connections in rural and hard-to-reach areas of the North East.

Northumberland could get pounds 7.03m, while County Durham could receive pounds 7.79m as part of a Government drive to ensure 90% of homes and businesses have access to superfast broadband by 2015.

Tyne and Wear could be handed pounds 3.42m and Tees Valley pounds 770,000. Cumbria could benefit from a pounds 17.13m grant. But cash-strapped town halls and local enterprise partnerships will have to draw up delivery plans and find matched funding for Government support.

Under yesterday's announcement, English counties could get pounds 294m and Scotland pounds 68.8m to help a third of households not expected to have superfast broadband made available by the private sector. The remainder would have a minimum speed by 2015.

Mr Hunt said: "Fast broadband is absolutely vital to our economic growth, to delivering public services effectively, and to conducting our everyday lives.

"But some areas of the UK are missing out, with many rural and hard-to-reach communities suffering painfully slow internet connections or no coverage at all.

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

He said local communities should be in the driving seat to roll out fast broadband because they knew where the gaps in coverage were.

Councils should "put their hands in their pockets" - something Mr Hunt was hopeful about - suggesting they could do deals with commercial partners to secure match-funding.

The Culture Secretary also said the remaining 10% without fast broadband would eventually get it, with the Government's plans providing an incentive to commercial providers to expand their networks. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.