Wednesday, 21 June 2017 22:25

Remote households get faster broadband

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Remote households get faster broadband

Almost 3,000 remote households and businesses will get access to high-speed broadband thanks to a £4m boost for Oxfordshire.

The funding has come from cost savings made earlier in the roll-out of the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme and BT making £2.56m available for reinvestment.

Partners say a 'Gainshare' mechanism in the contract has been triggered by strong demand for the new fibre technology from local households and businesses.

More than 45% of Oxfordshire households and businesses are already opting to use the new high speed service provided by the Better Broadband programme.

This has helped to trigger further reinvestment through Oxfordshire County Council's partnership with BT, says the local authority.

The council also emphasised its commitment to work with communities not yet able to get superfast fibre broadband through any public or private sector roll-out by launching a new scheme.

A separate fund of up to £600,000 from programme efficiency savings has been set aside for co-funding projects where communities are willing to share the cost of installation work.

Under the scheme, the council will contribute up to £1,700 per premises.

Councillor David Bartholomew, whose portfolio includes responsibility for broadband, said it was "great news" for people in some of the county's harder to reach areas.

He added: "We are continuing to look for cost-effective ways to reach the final four per cent of county premises not yet able to access this important service.

"We hope our co-funding initiative will play an important part in helping Oxfordshire to have the best access to digital services, even in the very rural areas.

"We've already had interest from several small eligible communities and are keen to hear from any other communities that might be interested."

The £38m Better Broadband for Oxfordshire roll-out is part of the government's Broadband Delivery UK programme, with extra funding from Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

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