North Devon set for more superfast broadband funding
North Devon MP Nick Harvey has welcomed extra funding to extend superfast broadband to North Devon’s hardest to reach areas.
The Government has today announced £22.75 million of funding for the Connecting Devon & Somerset broadband delivery programme, which comes on top of the £94m already invested in bringing superfast broadband to the area. The scheme aims to extend superfast broadband access to 95% of UK homes and businesses by 2017.
This latest round of the programme is focussed on extending broadband to some of the hardest to reach areas in the country. Some 15% of North Devon premises fall into this group, so a significant number of households and businesses will benefit from the extra funding.
Nick said: “This extra funding is good news for people across North Devon – households and small businesses alike – and will really benefit the local economy.
“At the end of last year, I pressed the Culture Secretary to ensure that rural areas like North Devon would get the funding they needed in order to roll out superfast broadband to our most isolated areas. I’m pleased to see she has taken this on board and allocated £22.75 million to Devon to help deliver the programme.
“However, we are still unclear about how much our cash-strapped local authorities will be expected to contribute in match funding. Devon County Council is currently embarking on a huge programme of cuts in order to keep within its budget and any extra pressure can simply not be accommodated for.
“The Government will need to look for a workable funding solution that doesn’t leave our struggling councils to pick up the bill for delivery of this vital service.”
(from a press release)