Superfast broadband coming to Warwickshire

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WARWICKSHIRE County Council is planning how it will be using money, announced by the government, to deliver superfast broadband access to residents in its rural areas.

Warwickshire County Council, in partnership with Coventry City Council, Solihull Borough Council and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will direct the rollout of broadband in the area.

It has been allocated just over £4 million to provide the improved service to 120,000 premises, 25.1% of all the total premises in the region, which are situated outside planned superfast broadband networks.

Cllr Alan Cockburn portfolio holder for sustainable communities at Warwickshire County Council and member of the local enterprise partnership board, said: “I’m as pleased as punch! This will bring massive benefit to the whole economy of the region – especially in our more rural areas, which are currently at a disadvantage because of not being able to use everyday technologies.

“This will enable us to equip our homes and offices with a strong digital structure to ensure we have a system fit for the 21st century.

“Superfast broadband will also help councils provide a wider range of improved services.

“A stronger digital structure will help to modernise libraries by giving the option of downloading e-books direct to computers; it will offer more convenient ways of accessing services and paying bills. The improvements will provide a better platform for education with faster connection for schools and helping adults gain new skills online.”

Rural areas throughout England and Scotland will receive £363m of a £530m pot, raised by the license fee, to improve broadband connections, making them quicker and more reliable than the current service and provide better access.

These areas are in need of subsidies as the cost of installing next-generation broadband, which would happen in urban areas with higher densities of premises and population, does not represent a good return on investment for broadband providers.

To be able to watch streamed video on the internet, such as the BBC iPlayer, broadband speeds of at least 2Mb are required. Many homes, particularly in Warwickshire’s rural locations, cannot access these speeds with the current services provided. Further information on the implications for superfast broadband in the region can be found at http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/superfastbroadband