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Superfast broadband coverage reaches 90% in Herts and Bucks

Friday, June 24th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

The rollout of fibre broadband in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire has been hailed a success after hitting its initial targets.

Superfast speeds are now available to 92% of homes and businesses in Hertfordshire and 90% of premises in Buckinghamshire.

The first phase of the Connecting Counties programme – a partnership between Herts and Bucks county councils, local enterprise partnerships and BT – has reached 65,000 premises since 2014.

A planned second phase is expected to connect a further 30,000 in Hertfordshire by June 2018.

The homes and businesses given fibre access by the Connecting Counties project are those that were not included in commercial broadband rollouts.

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for next generation access, said Connecting Counties has made great progress.

“This highly successful partnership is overcoming the engineering challenges posed by a rural area to get superfast fibre broadband to some of the county’s most remote locations.

“The arrival of this exciting technology is a major boost for local communities because whatever you do online you can do it better with fibre broadband.”

Andrew Percival, chair of Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s strategic infrastructure board, said: “I’m delighted that the first stage of the Connected Counties has been completed successfully and that we are continuing to extend the programme to bring better internet connections to more people in Hertfordshire.”

Martin Tett, leader of Buckinghamshire County Council, added: “High speed broadband is a modern life essential, not a luxury, for every resident and business.

“That’s why it continues to be one of the county council’s top priorities.

'Uneconomical'

“It’s good to see that we’ve made great progress connecting residents and businesses in areas that commercial providers would otherwise consider uneconomical, but there’s more work to do to ensure that everyone has access.”

Philippa Batting, managing director of Buckinghamshire Business First, said: “Buckinghamshire has one the largest concentration of small businesses in the country, many of whom work from home or are in rural areas.

“It is essential that we work together to ensure all businesses across the county can benefit from superfast broadband.

“Thanks to the Connected Counties programme delivered by Buckinghamshire Business First on behalf of Buckinghamshire County Council and local partners, we now have plans in place for almost 95% of the county to receive superfast broadband.”

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