Wiltshire, Norfolk, Devon and Somerset get grants to install super-fast broadband
People in Wiltshire, Norfolk and Devon and Somerset are to get access to super-fast broadband connections within a year thanks to multi-million pound grants from the Government.
The Government is investing £530m in areas where high-speed broadband is not considered commercially viable. Local authorities in the three areas took part in the latest round of bids for this funding.
Although final figures have yet to be finalised, Devon and Somerset will receive £30m, Norfolk will get £15m and Wiltshire £4m.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "It is now only a matter of time before people in these three rural areas have access to the connection speeds more commonly associated with towns and cities."
This brings the number of pilot schemes in rural areas to seven, including North Yorkshire, the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, Cumbria and the Herefordshire borders.
A mix of technologies will be used including mobile, satellite and fibre connections to hubs in the heart of communities.
A further 15 bids were submitted and the Government said it was committed to having the best super-fast broadband in Europe by 2015; so it expected that these areas will also receive funding during the current Parliament as their proposals evolve.
The Government said that Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) will be working with all the authorities that submitted local broadband plans over the coming weeks with a view to supporting all local broadband plans at the earliest opportunity.
Private investment will also be needed but companies such as Fujitsu have said they are interested in getting involved using BT's ducts and telegraph poles.
In addition to the £530m pot, money for rural areas will also be available through a £20m Rural Community Broadband Fund set up by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
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