Somerset gets SUPERFAST BROADBAND cash
Superfast broadband is coming to Somerset soon! The Government has announced the results of a highly competitive battle for a share of a £50m investment treasure chest – and Somerset County Council learned its joint bid to connect businesses and homes across the south west was the biggest winner.
It means that the Somerset, North Somerset and Devon councils will all share a £31m payout to bring superfast broadband to hundreds of thousands of businesses and rural communities.
Somerset County Council is also putting in £10m of its own money and the joint team will now begin negotiations with a private company to invest in a project that could add tens of millions more to the total spending pot.
“This is fantastic news and a measure of how important the Government sees broadband for Somerset and Devon,” said Cabinet member David Hall.
“This funding means we can start bringing superfast broadband speeds to the majority of the county in just a few years.”
The government's £50m pot was shared with two other councils, Wiltshire was awarded £4m and Norfolk gained £15m – meaning the big, big winner was the Somerset and Devon joint bid.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the investment in broadband was essential for rural communities: “This is great news for people in Devon and Somerset, Wiltshire and Norfolk, but other councils will soon have the chance to bid for a nationwide funding programme. This is part of our plan for virtually every community in the UK to have access to superfast broadband.”
“We put together a fantastic bid for the money and that is reflected in the amount we won and our prominence nationally,” said Somerset County Council Leader Ken Maddock.
“We are already working on the project and are committed to making this one of the most important priorities over the next few years for this Council.”
Somerset County Council are conducting a survey to see where in the county the demand for Superfast Broadband is highest. If you, as an individual, or as a business have a need for faster broadband then you should register on the survey which can be found HERE. The Parish Council's “Point of Contact” is Cllr Hugh Thomas who will update you on the project and answer any queries you may have.