Northamptonshire to offer secured loans to build faster rural broadband
Northamptonshire is doing things a little bit differently and has perhaps been listening to the rural broadband campaigners who have complained that access to capital is holding them back from building networks in the areas where the current BDUK projects and BT fear to tread.
Northamptonshire is set to offer commercial secured loans (with interest charged) to firms that can demonstrate viable business plans to deliver speeds in excess of 30 Mbps, with the important caveat that any service be available from a range of retail providers. The final decision on offering the loans will be considered by the Council Cabinet in February 2014 and if approved full applications can be processed.
In terms of square miles there are large chunks of Northamptonshire that will miss out from superfast broadband improvements under the BDUK process, these areas are the most sparsely populated parts of the county. These loans are just one part of the 2015 to 2017 strategy that will see the county work with BT and other suppliers to ensure the county becomes a leading island of connectivity in the UK.
Who knows we may see innovative proposals to put full FTTP into a couple of core villages and use fixed wireless to reach the more widely dispersed properties and businesses.