Up to 450 homes and businesses in south Northamptonshire’s Tove Valley are expected to benefit from superfast broadband.
A £117,000 Defra grant announced today will help homes and businesses to overcome social and economic isolation and give them access to broadband speeds of up to 30mbps.
The move comes as Defra today opened the final round of the £20m Rural Community Broadband Fund, which targets the most hard to reach areas of the country. The fund will provide around 50 per cent of the overall project costs.
Rural Affairs Minister, Richard Benyon said: “Superfast broadband is just as important as roads and rail to get our economy moving. This is great news for people and businesses in Tove Valley and will help the individual businesses get better connected as well as benefitting the local economy.”
The county council’s cabinet member for infrastructure and public protection, Councillor Andre Gonzalez De Savage, said: “Superfast broadband right across our county is essential if we are to be able to compete in the global digital economy and I’m delighted the county council has been able to support this pioneering project in the Tove Valley. I look forward to seeing this community project go from strength to strength.”
Abthorpe Broadband Association has been delivering wireless broadband to local residents and businesses for more than nine years and this new funding will help it to update their current wireless network with the latest fibre-based network.
It will also allow them to develop a network which links together the villages of Abthorpe, Weedon Lois, Wappenham, Slapton and Weston.
Eric Malcolmson, chairman of the Abthorpe Broadband Association, said: “Everyone in the upper Tove Valley is very excited that a superfast broadband service will soon be available. Defra’s approval for funding our project means that our communities deep in rural Northamptonshire will benefit from fast connections to the internet. This is an opportunity for the 60% plus of properties which have a business interest to survive and thrive and provide a step change in the way households can use the internet.
“I am pleased that my ABbA team can at last see the fruits of their ambitions to bring our area into using 21st century communications.”