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Hertfordshire to benefit from extension of superfast broadband rollout

Thursday, May 14th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

The areas of Hertfordshire that will benefit from the second phase of a superfast broadband rollout have been announced.

The Connected Counties programme, which covers Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, has a confirmed rollout area and timescale for its Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) – the second phase of its fibre broadband rollout.

The government has committed to delivering superfast broadband – speeds of 24Mbps or faster – to 95% of the UK by December 2017.

In an update, Connected Counties said the current timescale for the extension programme will see work begin in April 2016, and the first cabinets go live in early 2017. The areas covered by the extension programme can be found on the Connected Counties website.

“By December 2017 we will have increased fibre broadband coverage to 95% in Herts, with this rising to 98% by 2019,” it said.

A total of £13.9m funding has been confirmed for SEP in Hertfordshire, it said, with contributions from Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, central government and BT.

The update said that work on the SEP process in neighbouring Buckinghamshire is continuing, with more information due to be released later in the year.

“Funding of up to £5.33m has been allocated by local and central government sources, subject to future procurement and local decisions,” it added.

'Subject to change'

“This includes contributions from three district councils and the Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership.”

It added that all timescales for the extension programmes in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire are “indicative” and “subject to change”.

As part of its election pledges the Conservative Party promised to deliver “the most comprehensive and cheapest superfast broadband coverage of any major European country”.

The party’s manifesto set out a £100bn investment in infrastructure, including broadband and mobile and said ultrafast broadband – speeds of 100Mbps or more – should be available to “nearly all UK premises as soon as practicable”.

“We will ensure no-one is left behind by subsidising the cost of installing superfast capable satellite services in the very hardest to reach areas,” it said.

“And we will also release more spectrum from public sector use to allow greater private sector access.”

The document also pledged to boost the UK’s mobile coverage, promising to hold mobile operators to a binding agreement to ensure that 90% of the UK landmass will have voice and SMS coverage by 2017.

The Conservatives also said they would ensure Britain “seizes the chance to be a world leader in the development of 5G, playing a key role in defining industry standards”.

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