£14m allocated for superfast internet

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HOMES and businesses with low internet connectivity could soon benefit from super-fast broadband thanks to a £14.3 million government grant to improve services throughout Lincolnshire.

The money has been allocated to Lincolnshire County Council as part of a national drive to ensure 90 per cent of homes and businesses have access to the technology by 2015.

The county council has also agreed to contribute £10million of its own money towards the project.

Head of enterprise Justin Brown said: “We want to ensure Lincolnshire’s not left behind as we move into the digital age.

“Over the next year, we’ll be developing plans for transforming Lincolnshire’s broadband ‘not-spots’ into ‘hot-spots’”

To proceed with the plans LCC has asked Lincolnshire residents to register at www.onlincoln shire.org to help build up an accurate picture of the broadband services currently available.

As well as identifying the areas most in need of improvement, the number of people registering will also prove to commercial suppliers that there is a demand for next generation broadband in the county.

The project also requires additional funding to be sourced from the council’s partners in the public and private sector to match that offered by the government.

Mr Brown explained: “It’s vital to achieve this if we are to unlock the national funding that has been set aside. We’ve already made a good start with the county council’s executive members agreeing to contribute £10million to the project.”

If successful, the scheme would see antiquated copper wire replaced by fibre-optic cables to provide the best possible telecommunications infrastructure available.

Following the timetable laid out by the government, contracts for the improvement works would be awarded towards the end of 2012.

l To register for the project visit www.onlincolnshire.org