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Thousands more to get superfast broadband speed
2:00pm Sunday 18th August 2013 in News
A GROUNDBREAKING £20 million overhaul of internet speeds is heading to Worcestershire – with 55,000 homes and businesses finally getting superfast broadband.
BT has struck a landmark deal with the county council for the biggest ever investment in the county, ending years of frustration over slow connections.
The deal will see households across south Worcestershire benefit – including Evesham.
Villages suffering from ponderous connections will also benefit from the two-year programme, which will kick off early next year and be complete by the end of 2015.
The agreement, which has been lauded by Government ministers, will see Worcestershire taxpayers stump up £8.5 million of the costs, with the Government handing over £3.3 million.
But now, BT has agreed to fund £8.9 million in return for doing the work.
It will bring speeds of 80- megabytes-per-second to properties, enough to download films, music files, watch TV online, handle large files and flick through web pages instantly.
Councillor Simon Geraghty, deputy leader, said: “This investment is vital to our county’s future economy, as increased broadband speeds will support and boost the competitiveness of our local businesses.
“It will keep skills and job prospects local, and provide yet another reason for businesses to come to Worcestershire. I am delighted to be signing contracts.”
The cash means a major boost for residents looking to shop online, access educational sites for their children’s learning or browse simply for fun.
Experts say it will also allow businesses to video-conference online, and encourage people to launch their own web-based companies while living in rural areas.
The investment comes after more than 10,000 residents took part in a council survey demanding faster speeds – with 89 per cent of employers saying it was too slow.
At the moment 68 per cent of properties in Worcestershire are able to get superfast speeds, but almost all of them are confined to busy urban areas like central Worcester and Redditch.
By the end of the project, at least 90 per cent of Worcestershire will be able to surf at superfast speeds.
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