Funding will be provided by both the Governement and also by BT. The government wants to improve rural broadband and all councils have been given until the end of April so sort out projects and get them up and running.
It has been estimated by Ofcom that 15% of homes in Lancashire have broadband speeds of less than 2Mbps. The Governement has set aside £530m to fund the whole of the country with speeds of at least 2 Mbps by 2015 and wouls also like to see 90% of businesses and homes with superfast broadband – ie 24 Mbps by 2015.
It is generally thought that the drive to get broadband into rural areas is too slow and that councils have been unable to negociate deals with telecom companies because too little cash has been provided to help with this. Each county has been told how much money they can get although few counties have come up with viable projects in order to get started.
BT has started bidding to provide networks and plan to extend networks in Lancashire by the end of 2014.
Lancashire council was reported as saying that the broadband project would boost the local economy by creating jobs for about 2500 people and that it would also protect about 1,200 jobs over the next few years.