A multimilllion pound deal has today heralded the start of an ‘exciting new era’ in Lincolnshire with the confirmation of superfast broadband’s long awaited arrival.
Lincolnshire County Council and BT have today revealed their plans to roll out affordable fibreoptic connections across 88 per cent of the county to boost businesses and aid home users.
Executive member for finance and HR Coun Kelly Smith said: “The internet is transforming our lives - at home, at work and at school.
“And thanks to this investment by local councils, BT and national government, everyone will be able to reap the benefits offered by digital technology.
“This project is going to dramatically improve broadband speeds across the county, bringing a wealth of opportunities for residents and businesses alike.
“This is the start of an exciting new era for our county.”
Phase one of the project begins in January 2014, with a further seven phases due for final completion by the end of March 2016.
Internet users can check which phase of the roll out their area is in by visiting OnLincolnshire’s website and entering their postcode.
Today’s deal is the largest of its kind in the East Midlands and the sixth largest nationally, involving £48 million of public and private sector money including £11.2 million from the county council and a further £4 million from district councils.
East Lindsey District Council’s portfolio holder for economic regeneration Coun Craig Leyland said: “The benefits of this project are highly significant for East Lindsey’s economy, which is why the district council has agree an investment of £1 million into the programme.
“Improved internet connection speeds will enhance the district as a place to live and work, providing a huge boost for businesses, enabling them to improve their competitiveness, develop new markets and create new jobs.”
The multimillion pound deal follows a competitive selection process, resulting in BT’s appointment of the contract.
The telecommunications company has invested £18.8 million of its own money and will begin work on rolling out the technology following a period of planning and detailed surveying.
“BT’s managing director of Next Generation Access said: “This is great news for Lincolnshire.
“We’re already seeing the positive impact fast, fibre broadband is having on businesses and residents in he county and now, thanks to this partnership, the benefits will be felt much wider, helping to boost the local economy.”
Ingoldmells and Wrangle residents are set to benefit from an additional £300,000 investment, secured through the European Regional Development Fund, to bring superfast speeds through wireless technology.
LCC’s ward holder for Ingoldmells Rural Coun Colin Davie said: “I’ve been a passionate advocate for the need to invest in broadband to enable our future business to communicate and trade with the world.
“Today’s green light is fantastic news for Lincolnshire and for all the people living and working within our great county.”