Nottinghamshire County Council submit £17m broadband business plan

Nottinghamshire County Council has submitted its final £17m broadband vision on behalf of local businesses and the wider community to Central Government.

The plan will improve internet access for around 116,000 businesses and households in the county

The Government announced in August a provisional allocation of £4.25m of funding towards super-fast broadband improvements in Nottinghamshire, which is based on 23.7 percent of properties across the county having no or limited broadband service.

The document sets out how the County Council plans to fund and carry out the project, which includes £2m from its own funds and £8.5m from the appointed telecommunications contractor to carry out the improvements.

The County Council made a request to district and borough councils in the county to contribute £2m towards the scheme. To date they have agreed to provide about £1.1m towards the project collectively. The County Council will continue to seek additional funding from European sources to enable the full roll-out of the project.

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.

The Government will review the plan and is expected to confirm its £4.25m allocation by April.

The Council is aiming for improvement works to start in early 2013 but in the meantime is exploring new technologies such as a satellite broadband service for some isolated areas.

Councillor Kay Cutts, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Faster broadband access is critical for the future prosperity of Nottinghamshire and all its residents. Without the faster connections, business growth will be shackled and we will risk losing ground on the rest of the UK.

“The County Council is determined that isolated areas across the county are not left behind by not having access to a decent broadband service. We are prepared to back this ambition with a significant amount of money and welcome the fact that some of the district councils have also recognised the importance and contributed their share.

“Where we have fallen short of contributions, we will continue to fight on behalf of residents by seeking to make up the shortfall. It is critical that no communities are deprived of this vital modern tool.”