Northamptonshire is racing ahead in the BDUK competition. Its previously submitted local broadband plan for the county has been approved, which means the procurement programme will start in May 2012. The actual work to implement the service is expected to begin by the end of 2012.
"High broadband speed will have huge advantages for Northamptonshire as it will allow the county to be a strong competitor in the global digital economy and allow everyone to have access to new and improved services that are increasingly available online.
This announcement is a significant step towards everyone having these fast internet speeds and this means we are well on schedule to meet our targets for the initiative.
In the increasingly competitive global economy it is essential that superfast broadband is widely available and indeed when people are looking to locate either their business or home, fast internet speeds are at the top of the list."Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, county council cabinet member for infrastructure and public protection
This approval will unlock the £4.08 million of BDUK funding, which is also matched by the county council, and as part of the tendering process the bids from private companies will be expected to provide similar match funding. The broadband plan is aiming to bring broadband at speeds of 30 Mbps and faster to 90% of premises by 2015, and subsequent work will increase this to 100% by 2017. The number of premises thought to be likely to benefit is some 60,000 across the mainly rural areas of the county.