Devon and Somerset to get high speed broadband
08 February 2013
Residents and businesses across Devon are to get superfast broadband speeds now that a £94m project has been finalised, it has been announced.
Connecting Devon and Somerset, which has received £32m from central government and £20m form Devon and Somerset councils, reached an agreement with BT to roll out the necessary infrastructure to deliver high speeds to 90 per cent of premises by the end of 2016. At least 2Mbps broadband speeds will be available for everyone else.
David Hall, the deputy leader of Somerset County Council said: "Breaking down the rural broadband divide will give our residents, communities and businesses opportunities that they've only been able to imagine up till now.
"Fast and reliable internet is becoming more important to daily life and going online will soon be the only way to access some key public services."
John Hart, the leader of Devon County Council added that superfast broadband would enable the smallest of businesses to "compete on a level playing field with other companies nationally and internationally".
"Devon businesses can expand without having to relocate and benefit from improving productivity," he said. "It'll mean a big boost to our economy and the creation of new jobs as firms take advantage of their new-found competitiveness."
Communications minister Ed Vaizey said this was the largest of all English local authority projects. It will cover six local authority areas including Devon, Torbay, Plymouth, Somerset, North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset.
"Superfast broadband is a powerful tool for driving growth," said Vaizey. "This ambitious £94m project, set to generate an additional £750m for the local economy by 2020, will bring countless benefits to both businesses and households alike."