Residents in Suffolk and Rutland are set to benefit from super-fast net access in the near future following the government approval of local authority plans to roll out broadband.
The government is investing £530m to ensure the UK has the best super-fast broadband network in Europe by 2015. It wants every UK resident to be able to access 2Mbps broadband speeds, and 90 percent of the country to get super-fast broadband, defined by Ofcom as 24Mbps or above.
From this £530m pot, some of which comes from the portion of the BBC licence fee originally allocated to fund the digital switchover, Suffolk has been allocated £11.68m and Rutland £700k.
The counties were asked to draw up plans for how the super-fast broadband would be delivered. These have now been approved by the government; the next step for the counties is to put the work out to tender.
"Super-fast broadband is essential for economic growth and, increasingly, for our day-to-day lives. I am delighted that Suffolk and Rutland share our view of the importance of providing people with super-fast broadband access," said culture secretary Jeremy Hunt.
"I hope other authorities will follow their example and work to bring broadband to their areas as soon as possible."
Last year, residents of Lyddington in Rutland raised £37,000 to set up their own super-fast broadband network after BT and other ISPs said it wasn't viable. The residents of the village and a local ISP formed a joint venture, Rutland Telecom, asked BT Openreach to lay fibre to the cabinet cables, and then set about connecting the homes in the village to the fibre network.