South Gloucestershire allocated government funding for broadband

The Government has announced today (16th August) that the West of England (South Gloucestershire, Bath & North East Somerset and Bristol) has been allocated £1.4 million as part of a £530 million nationwide funding programme to deliver the Government’s ambition to create the best superfast broadband network in Europe.

The private sector is due to take superfast broadband to around two-thirds of UK households and businesses. The government funding announced today is to help take broadband to the remaining third of properties, by making it viable for business to invest. It will ensure that everyone in the UK will have access to at least 2mbps, and for 90 per cent of homes and businesses to have access to superfast broadband (20mbps).

To ensure that the market can respond to deliver what is needed, BDUK has encouraged local authorities to group neighbouring areas together so that each procurement will be of a size and scale which is attractive to suppliers. South Gloucestershire Council has proactively worked with our neighbouring local authorities in the West of England to ensure that a viable plan which is large enough to attract interest, can be produced which will bring successful delivery in the county. BDUK have estimated that about 14% of the total premises in our area are eligible for investment through this allocation.

Councillor John Goddard, the Executive Member for Corporate Affairs said “ensuring all of our residents and businesses have access to a fast, reliable and affordable broadband service is a priority for South Gloucestershire Council. We have worked with our neighbouring local authorities to ensure that we can be among the first to benefit from this money. Now that we know our BDUK allocation, we can work with our partners in the other two authorities and BDUK to put together our plan to use this funding to improve the broadband provision for the benefit of local people and businesses. Far from being slow, we have recognised that working with others was essential and have prepared for success.”