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Friday, 9 December 2011

Worcestershire County Council setting broadband targets


Another County Council has set out its broadband plan with the objective of 'faster broadband for all by 2015'. The three keys aims are:
  • 90% of businesses in Worcestershire to have the ability to access Superfast Broadband by 2015
  • Everyone in the county to have access to broadband speeds of at least 2 Mbps
  • Superfast broadband available for 90% of the County by 2015.
"Through the BOLD Programme we are working to deliver the substantial savings required. Investment in the provision of Broadband, however, is a good example of how the organisation is making use of resources to plan for the future. We will, of course, look to access available funding and investment to help us achieve the vision of faster Broadband for all by 2015.

We will also continue to use digital technology to make improvements, facilitate savings and streamline our own services whilst focusing on the needs of the people of Worcestershire."
Cllr David Thain, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Transformation and Change
The council cabinet has given an indicative allocation of £8.5 million towards this goal, and assuming the plans are approved by the BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK) they will gain access to the £3.3m of BDUK funding, funding of £400,000 from the Green Infrastructure Fund and £300,000 from sustainable transport funding is available too.
It is interesting to see a council drawing on transport and green funding, which may be a recognition that good broadband can help to reduce the amount of travel people need to make. The County has a population of around 550,000, of which some 220,000 live in Worcester, Redditch and Kidderminster, where either Openreach FTTC or Virgin Media cable is widely available and Ofcom stats show the county has superfast broadband available to 59%. This means with the current level of funding it works out at around £100 per property, or £200 if operators were to match fund.

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