£244,000 funding will extend superfast broadband into rural Northamptonshire villages

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More than 500 homes and businesses in rural Northamptonshire will be able to get superfast broadband thanks to thousands of pounds worth of extra funding.

The villages of Loddington and Dingley are the main focus for these new plans with small parts of Rockingham and Welford also set to benefit.

The Superfast Northamptonshire broadband project has been awarded an extra £208,700 of government funding, while BT will contribute an additional £36,000.

The extra funding follows a successful Northamptonshire County Council bid to the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) rural programme.

County council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure, Cllr Andre Gonzalez de Savage, said: “It’s great news that additional coverage can be delivered through this first stage of the project, providing more of our rural communities with access to superfast broadband.

“We are hearing some great news stories from local companies who are transforming their businesses by taking advantage of superfast broadband. By the end of 2015 we should see around 90 per cent of the county’s premises able to get fibre broadband as a result of this project including widespread commercial plans, and more investment to come through the Superfast Northamptonshire project.”

This additional funding from BDUK extends the council’s £11.4m contract with BT for the Superfast Northamptonshire project to make superfast broadband speeds of more than 24 Mbps available to more than 50,100 premises.

Some other households and businesses, which are not able to get superfast speeds, will still see speed increases if they choose to connect to the fibre network.

Engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, working on behalf of Superfast Northamptonshire, have so far installed 149 green roadside cabinets and laid more than 265 kms of new fibre optic cables in the county to make superfast broadband available to more than 34,000 premises.

The new network being delivered by Openreach is available on an equal, wholesale basis to all broadband service providers, thereby ensuring competitive pricing and products for local households and businesses.

Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for next generation access said: “This is a really exciting time for Northamptonshire as every week more homes and businesses are able to connect to our fibre broadband open network. We’ve already passed the halfway point of our contract with the county council and as this announcement shows, we continue to work with Superfast Northamptonshire to extend our coverage to include as many areas as possible.”

Loddington is situated just outside Kettering with a population of nearly 500 residents. A spokesperson for Loddington Parish Council, said: “Superfast broadband will make a big difference to the village of Loddington. Residents are using the internet in their homes on multiple devices for business, homework, leisure etc. We have a surprising number of local enterprises in the village and an increasing number of residents who spend time working from home.”

Work to bring superfast broadband to parts of Dingley, Loddington, Rockingham and Welford will get underway shortly. It’s anticipated that the new technology will be built and available in these areas by the end of 2015.

Superfast broadband is rapidly becoming essential to how we live, learn and access services - making the basic day to day activities of modern life easier and quicker for people of all ages. It is particularly vital for businesses to help them improve productivity, growth and innovation, as well as improving how they can engage with their customers and opening up opportunities worldwide.

Benefits of superfast broadband include faster download and upload speeds; the ability to access the internet via multiple devices without experiencing a slow connection, faster downloads of films and music, a better online gaming experience, improved file sharing for businesses, solutions based on Cloud computing and being able to work more flexibly.

For more information about the project, including the ability to see when services may be rolled out in your area please visit our ‘When and Where’ interactive map and project website at: www.superfastnorthamptonshire.net