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Government backs councils' case for superfast broadband
SUPERFAST broadband is on its way to Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire after plans put forward by three local authorities won government funding.
Central Bedfordshire Council’s Local Broadband Plan will be partially funded by £620,000 from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Broadband Delivery UK team, with more than £1.2 million being invested by the council and local strategic partnership Central Bedfordshire Together to improve broadband services.
Bedford, meanwhile, has received government funding of £440,000 which will join match funding provided locally to help boost broadband speeds across the borough.
Central Bedfordshire is preparing to give 90% of premises within its area access to 24MB/second broadband. Every premises in the area will have broadband of speeds at least 2MB/second and willreceive a wide choice of suppliers and broadband services.
Bedford Borough Council will now be working closely with Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Councils to bring a provider on board to deliver the plan.
Central Bedfordshire Cllr Richard Wenham, deputy executive member for corporate resources , said: “This is an important step and we are focused on delivering the plan.
“Rolling out superfast broadband in Central Bedfordshire will have a number of major benefits for the area.
"It will mean improved access to services for our residents and strengthen the local economy through supporting local business resilience, growth and innovation.”
Milton Keynes, Bedford and Central Bedfordshire Councils will now look to procure a private sector infrastructure partner and secure additional private investment.
Bedford Mayor Dave Hodgson (pictured) said: “I am delighted that the government has recognised the local backing we have for faster broadband in the borough.
“The campaign is continuing and I urge local residents and businesses that have not done so already to sign up to show their support and send a clear message to providers about the local demand for better broadband.”