Superfast speeds are just around the corner with a multi-million pound broadband project due to start imminently.
Businesses and communities across Lincolnshire are set to benefit from fast, affordable fibre broadband as the planned roll out of superfast broadband across the county - including in West Lindsey - was announced by Lincolnshire County Council this week (March 13).
The county council, West Lindsey District Council and the other Lincolnshire councils have signed a contract with BT to build on the existing telecoms infrastructure in the county so that at least 88 per cent of all premises should have access to superfast broadband by April 2016, with the council aiming for everyone else to have access to at least 2Mbp/s broadband. For the first time ever, broadband should be available everywhere in Lincolnshire.
The deal is the largest of its kind in the East Midlands and sixth largest nationally.
District Councillor, Giles McNeill, Conservative (Nettleham Ward), said:
“This is fantastic news for West Lindsey. Improving access to high-speed broadband is extremely important for us as the district has so many remote areas that will really feel the benefit. Earlier this month poor broadband was highlighted as an issue by partners working in farming and agriculture – which is a huge industry for us – so hopefully this will go some way to addressing that. We are excited to be working in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council to help our resid entsand businesses get online.”
“The internet is transforming our lives – at home, at work and at school. And thanks to this investment by local councils, BT and national government, everyone will be able to reap the benefits offered by digital technology. This project is going to dramatically improve broadband speeds across the county, bringing a wealth of opportunities for residents and businesses alike. This is the start of an exciting new era for our county.”Initial information on what is planned can now be found online at www.onlincolnshire.org, although please be aware these details are subject to change. Alternatively, residents can contact Lincolnshire County Council’s customer service centre on 01522 782066.
The project, which is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme, will see more than £48m of public and private sector money invested in improving the county’s broadband infrastructure. The cash includes £11.2m from the county council, £4m from the district authorities, £14.3m from national government and £18.8m from BT. Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said:
“It’s fantastic that for the first time, broadband will be available everywhere in Lincolnshire as the result of one of our largest superfast broadband projects in the country. The UK already does more business online than any other European country, and widespread access to superfast broadband will provide a tremendous boost to Lincolnshire’s local economy.”
BT was chosen following a competitive selection process. Work on the project will start imminently with the first superfast connections expected to be available in January 2014. The roll-out will begin with a period of planning and detailed surveying, before Openreach, BT’s local network business, starts work on the ground.
In addition, £300,000 from the European Regional Development Fund will be used to bring superfast speeds to east coast communities in and around Ingoldmells and Wrangle through wireless technology, with the improvements being carried out by Lincoln firm AB Internet.