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Cash boost for Derbyshire broadband project will get fibre to 100,000 homes

Thursday, October 15th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

Around 70,000 homes and businesses can get better broadband as part of Derbyshire’s superfast rollout, with even more set to benefit from an extra £7m cash boost.

The first phase of the Digital Derbyshire rollout is more than three-quarters complete and aims to provide more than 88,000 premises with access to fibre broadband.

A £7m extension has also been announced, building on the original programme and taking better broadband to even more premises, including those in hard-to-reach areas.

Efforts to improve broadband in Derbyshire have seen average broadband speeds rise from 12.4Mbps in 2012 to 23.4Mbps, according to Ofcom

In recent months, fibre has been made available in a number of communities including Bakewell, Darley Dale and Hope.

Councillor Dean Collins, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure, said: “The internet plays such a big role in our daily lives, whether it’s at work or at home.

“So it’s great news that Digital Derbyshire has already provided access to better, faster broadband to around 70,000 homes and businesses across the county.

“We’re aiming to provide 95% of premises in Derbyshire with access to fibre broadband by the end of 2016.”

More homes and businesses are set to benefit from the Digital Derbyshire programme thanks to a £7m extension to make fibre available in particularly hard-to-reach places.

'Reach even further'

The second phase builds on the original programme and will extend overall coverage to more than 100,000 premises by the end of 2018.

The cash boost from central government, BT and the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, takes the total investment for Digital Derbyshire to more than £34m.

Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for next generation access, said: “Our work with the council in Derbyshire has already made fibre broadband available to tens of thousands of homes and businesses.

“Across the county, the way people use the internet is being transformed.

“We’re delighted that the council has chosen to work with BT to help extend that reach even further in the coming years.”

The Digital Derbyshire project is funded using £15.2m from BT, £5m from Derbyshire County Council, £9.7m from the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds, £2.5m from the European Regional Development Fund and £2.2m from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

It builds on the private sector’s rollout of fibre broadband – BT’s commercial rollout in the county has already made fibre available to around 360,000 homes and businesses.

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