The majority of East Hampshire is one step closer to getting superfast internet after the EU approved the roll out of high speed broadband across rural areas, which will help to deliver jobs and boost growth in the area. Up to 90% of residents will be able to access speeds in excess of 20mbps with the remaining areas able to access speeds of at least 2mbps.
After several months of delay in Europe, Government pressure has resulted in the EU approving the UK’s £530 million investment in rural broadband. This means that Hampshire can now focus on delivering its new broadband infrastructure project, with £5,020,000 being made available to the county by the Government – a project that will have huge benefit over the coming years for both communities and businesses.
Hampshire County Council and its district council partners will provide an additional £5 million of funding; it is estimated that 150,000 households and business premises will benefit from this public sector funding. In addition, Hampshire County Council has started a formal tender process to appoint a commercial partner who will assist in supplying broadband across the county. An appointment is likely to be made by March 2013, and work should start next summer.
“This decision is great news for East Hampshire. Britain is in a global race and we cannot allow rural areas to get left behind because they are not adequately ‘connected’. Almost all local households and businesses will in future be able to get the infrastructure to match their aspirations, providing residents with the tools they need to get on and prosper.
“It also demonstrates how much the Government wants to support the rural economy. We are working hard to make sure rural areas are not left behind and to help create growth, jobs and future prosperity”.