The rollout of high-speed fibre broadband by the Connected Counties programme, which has already reached over 11,600 Hertfordshire premises, has helped the Government make superfast broadband available to more than three million UK homes and businesses. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport announced these milestone figures this week.
Connected Counties is the partnership made up of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire county councils and BT. The programme builds on BT’s commercial fibre broadband programme which has already made the high-speed technology available to more than 400,000 households and businesses across the counties.
In May this year the programme received a funding boost of £13.9 million to increase high-speed fibre-optic broadband coverage in the county to more than 98 per cent of premises. A total of £18.06 million has previously been allocated to the programme.
The total programme funding for Hertfordshire was sourced from contributions of £4.68m from Hertfordshire County Council, £1m from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and a matched funding contribution of £5.17m from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. BT is contributing £8.6 million to be shared across both counties as part of the current programme rollout, and will be contributing £5.9 million over the term of the future rollout in Hertfordshire.
David Williams, Hertfordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Education & Skills, said:
“We want as many homes and businesses as possible to benefit from the fast and reliable connection that superfast broadband can provide. Every month, we’re seeing the number of people who can access this technology improve and we’re delighted that this programme continues to go from strength to strength.”
Andrew Percival, chair of Hertfordshire LEP's infrastructure board, added:
“I am delighted that the contribution made by Hertfordshire LEP has been instrumental in addressing significant gaps in the availability of superfast broadband at three of our most significant business parks - Centennial Park, Elstree; Gunnels Wood Road, Stevenage; and Maylands Business Park, Hemel Hempstead. Several hundred SMEs now enjoy an uplift in broadband services which is helping to drive commercial growth through better digital connectivity.”
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said:
"We are transforming the digital landscape of the UK and our nationwide rollout of superfast broadband has now reached an additional three million UK homes and businesses. I congratulate Connected Counties on having reached more than 11,600 properties in Hertfordshire so far – they’re making incredible progress."
Dave Hughes, BT’s regional director for the East of England, said: “Today marks important milestones, both locally and nationally, for the superfast broadband revolution. This exciting technology is transforming the opportunities for communities across Hertfordshire and the UK as a whole.
“BT’s multi billion pound investment in superfast broadband through its involvement in partnerships, such as Connected Counties and its own commercial programme has already made fibre broadband available to more than 400,000 households and businesses in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire – and the number is continuing to grow rapidly. Our Openreach engineers are rolling out the technology at a world class pace, reaching thousands more premises in the region every week.”
For more information about Connected Counties, and to find out whether your premise is part of the programme, please visit www.connectedcounties.org