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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > August 2013 > Broadband boost on the cards

Broadband boost on the cards for thousands of local residents

29th August 2013

 

A project to improve broadband speeds around the Borough took another major step forward today when Bedford Borough Council and two neighbouring councils signed a new contract with BT Openreach which secures £2.6m of extra funding on top of over £6m of Government and local funding.

 

BT Openreach is already upgrading its existing network across Bedford Borough as part of a nationwide commercial rollout, with nearly 80% of premises in the Borough already having access to superfast broadband.

 

In addition, in order to roll out superfast broadband to as many Bedford Borough homes and businesses as soon as possible, Bedford Borough Council has worked in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council and Milton Keynes Council to bid successfully for a share of the £530m government fund for ‘non commercial’ broadband improvement.

 

The three councils have entered an agreement with BT Openreach to work on the next phase of the joint broadband infrastructure programme, and the contract signing took place today.

 

Following further modelling work this year BT Openreach engineers will begin to assess the areas which are to receive improved broadband in early 2014.

 

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “Today’s contract signing represents more progress in our fight to boost broadband speeds for households in communities across the borough.

 

“As the internet becomes ever more central for businesses and for everyday life for households, decent broadband availability is more and more important. That’s why we are so pleased to have secured significant funds to boost broadband availability in areas which otherwise would not be receiving it.’

 

“In signing this contract today, we’re well on the way to making superfast broadband a reality for many more people, particularly in rural areas. This is also a further boost for economic growth, as good broadband is good for business.”


Bill Murphy, BT’s Managing Director, Next Generation Access, added: “This is great news for the people living in these areas. It is important to support local economies, as well as helping households in these communities. This is where fibre broadband can play an essential role by revitalising towns, villages and hamlets, helping businesses to be connected in these locations.”

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