A £27.67 million project to transform broadband speeds for thousands more businesses and residents across Derbyshire could be in line for another boost.
Derbyshire County Council, which has spearheaded the Digital Derbyshire programme, signed a contract with BT to make superfast broadband available to a further 88,000 premises across the county, bringing it to more than 95 per cent of homes and businesses by 2016.
Now the Government has made more funding available with up to £2.19 million earmarked for Derbyshire if the county council can raise an extra £2.19 million to match the Government’s investment.
This would be used to increase the availability of superfast broadband in Derbyshire even further by extending the coverage, taking speeds above 24mbps.
Coun Joan Dixon, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for Jobs, Economy and Transport, said: “Derbyshire is a beautiful place to live and work but its rural nature has meant many areas have been left behind when commercial operators have rolled out broadband services.
“The Digital Derbyshire programme will make a real difference to the lives of residents and businesses and the economy of Derbyshire.
“We’ve already committed to bring fibre broadband to more than 95 per cent of homes and businesses by 2016 and this new Government funding would allow us to do even more.
“We’re looking at external funding sources and working hard to find the extra £2.19 million needed to secure the Government funding. Any extra funding we receive would be pumped into boosting speeds for premises in those hardest-to-reach areas.”
The county council has submitted a formal expression of interest to the Government for the funding and work to raise the extra £2.19 million has already started.