Superfast internet speeds for Lincolnshire are just around the corner with the promise that by 2016 88 per cent of the county will have access to fast, affordable fibre broadband.
Lincolnshire County Council and BT today (Wednesday) announced the details of the planned roll out of superfast broadband across the county.
The council has signed a contract with BT to build on the existing telecoms infrastructure in the county so that at least 88 per cent of all properties should have access to superfast broadband by April 2016, with the council aiming for everyone else to have access to at least of 2Mb/s broadband.
For the first time ever, broadband should be available everywhere in Lincolnshire.
The deal is the largest of its kind in the East Midlands and sixth largest nationally.
Councillor Kelly Smith, executive member for finance and HR, 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.”
Bill Murphy, managing director, Next Generation Access, BT, added: “This is great news for Lincolnshire.
“We’re already seeing the positive impact faster, fibre broadband is having on businesses and residents in the county and now, thanks to this partnership, the benefits will be felt much wider, helping boost the local economy.”
Initial information on what’s planned can now be found online at www.onlincolnshire.org, although please be aware these details may change.
Alternatively, residents can contact the council’s customer service centre on 01522 782066.
The project, which is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme, will see around £48m of public and private sector money invested in improving the county’s broadband infrastructure.
The cash includes £11.2m from the county council, £4m from the district authorities, £14.3m from national government and £18.8m from BT.
Communications minister Ed Vaizey said: “It’s fantastic that for the first time, broadband will be available everywhere in Lincolnshire as the result of one of our largest superfast broadband projects in the country.
“The UK already does more business online than any other European country, and widespread access to superfast broadband will provide a tremendous boost to Lincolnshire’s local economy.”
BT was chosen following a competitive selection process. Work on the project will start imminently with the first superfast connections expected to be available in January 2014.
The roll-out will begin with a period of planning and detailed surveying, before Openreach, BT’s local network business, starts work on the ground.
In addition, £300,000 from the European Regional Development Fund will be used to bring superfast speeds to east coast communities in and around Ingoldmells and Wrangle through wireless technology, with the improvements being carried out by Lincoln firm AB Internet.