More broadband cash for county

Broadband in Oxfordshire has been given a cash boost
Broadband in Oxfordshire has been given a cash boost
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Broadband for Oxfordshire is to get an extra £5.58 million in funding.

It is estimated that more than 4,600 additional businesses and homes across the county will be able to access superfast fibre broadband.

It will extend the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire roll-out – led by Oxfordshire County Council and BT – which started just over 18 months ago.

The project is expected to deliver download speeds of 80 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 20Mbps.

This latest funding consists of £2 million from the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP); £120,000 from the South East Midlands LEP and Cherwell District Council; £168,000 from Oxford City Council; £2.2 million from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme and £1.1 million from BT.

Digital economy minister, Ed Vaizey, said: “This is fantastic news for Oxfordshire, where our roll-out of superfast broadband is already progressing at a tremendous rate.

“This additional £5.58 million funding will now deliver all the benefits that superfast speeds have to offer to thousands more homes and businesses in the county.”

The percentage of county homes and businesses able to get superfast fibre broadband will be increased to more than 95 per cent, when combined with earlier phases of the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme and BT’s commercial roll-out.

Work on this new phase will get underway immediately. After planning and surveying has been carried out, engineers from Openreach – BT’s local network business – will start laying fibre optic cable and installing new road-side fibre broadband cabinets next year.

Information on how communities in Oxfordshire can benefit from the new funding is available on the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire website at www.betterbroadbandoxfordshire.org.uk. Through the website’s ‘postcode checker,’ local people can follow the roll-out and get the latest on superfast broadband availability in their area.

Nick Carter, councillor for business and customer services at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “We’re proud to announce we’re on track to achieve our original goal, set for us back in 2013, of making superfast broadband available to 64,500 homes and businesses across Oxfordshire by the end of 2015, and this has been achieved within our original budget, also agreed in 2013.”