Government contribute £4.25m to Nottinghamshire County Council’s broadband plans

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The Government has confirmed that they will be allocating £4.25m towards Nottinghamshire County Council’s £17m plan to ensure residents and businesses have access to a superfast broadband service.

The Government announced in August 2011 its provisional allocation towards broadband improvements in Nottinghamshire, which is based on 23.7 percent of properties across the county having no or a limited broadband service.

The County Council is leading on the project and is providing £2.15m towards the scheme which is set to improve broadband access for around 116,000 properties in the county.

The Council submitted its final plan detailing how the project would be carried out and funded earlier this year for the Government’s consideration.

The plan focuses on improvements for properties which will be unaffected by BT’s superfast broadband roll-out plans and will ensure these areas are not left behind.

All local authorities in Nottinghamshire have worked together to match fund the local broadband plan. District and borough councils have so far collectively agreed to provide £1m towards the project.

The approval of the plan releases the county’s £4.25m broadband allocation from the Department for Culture Media and Sport. The project is worth £17m when the investment from the communications supplier is included.

The Government has allocated £530m to deliver the superfast broadband across the UK in the lifetime of the current parliament, with potential for a further £300m up to 2017.

The County Council is currently applying for additional funding from European sources to build upon the government allocation.

Improvement works are due to start in early 2013 but in the meantime the Council is exploring new technologies such as a satellite broadband service for some areas which currently have limited access.

Coun Kay Cutts, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “I am delighted the Government has approved our broadband plan which paves the way for securing a telecommunications supplier to help make the necessary improvements.

“Internet access is especially important for jobs, education and business, particularly where transport is not always good. Getting Nottinghamshire connected to superfast broadband access will attract new businesses and support existing enterprises.

“The hard work continues into turning this ambitious project into reality and we will continue to seek further funding to build upon the Government money on offer.”