MAJOR funding for improved broadband connectivity in the rural areas was rubber stamped by Warwickshire County Council’s cabinet on Thursday night.
A total of £3m will be put towards the funding required to match the £4.07m that is being made available to the sub-region by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), the Government body charged with overseeing the roll-out of superfast broadband across the country.
An additional £500,000 county council funding was approved for the costs associated with running the project. The balance of the match and project funding will be provided by Coventry City Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and the five districts and boroughs within Warwickshire.
The draft sub-regional Local Broadband Plan was submitted to BDUK last week - ahead of the revised government timetable - outlining the current broadband provision and the sub-regional approach to improving broadband speeds.
Cllr Alan Cockburn, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Communities, said: “Superfast broadband is an absolutely essential technology for our rural communities and they desperately need a service that is fit for the future.
“Our draft Local Broadband Plan has been submitted and, subject to approval by BDUK, the project team expect to be ready to start the procurement phase of the project by July this year, with roll-out of the enabling infrastructure commencing in 2013.”
The broadband team is reminding residents and businesses to complete the online surveys that can be found at www.cswbroadband.org.uk. This will provide evidence to help decide where there is the highest level of demand and where the service should be rolled out to.
The county council is recruiting local champions to promote the project within their own villages and to encourage others to sign up. Anyone interested in becoming a champion or requiring further information about the project, can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01926 412984.