Extra £5.3 million to be spent on Norfolk broadband connections

From left - Karen O'Kane, Better Broadband for Norfolk Programme Director; Dr Marie Strong, Chair of the Broadband Working Group at Norfolk County Council; George Nobbs, Leader of Norfolk County Council; Mark Pendlington, Chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership; and Bill Murphy, BT Managing Director for Next Generation Access. ANL-150130-143732001
From left - Karen O'Kane, Better Broadband for Norfolk Programme Director; Dr Marie Strong, Chair of the Broadband Working Group at Norfolk County Council; George Nobbs, Leader of Norfolk County Council; Mark Pendlington, Chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership; and Bill Murphy, BT Managing Director for Next Generation Access. ANL-150130-143732001

An extra £5.3 million investment should “virtually eliminate” broadband inequality in Norfolk, officials have claimed.

The new cash for the county’s Better Broadband programme, which was announced yesterday, has been made available through a clause that allows more cash to be invested if take-up rates are higher than initially expected.

Details of where and how the money will be used will be announced over the next few months.

But Marie Strong, chairman of the county council’s broadband working group, said: “This extra money means we will be able to bring high-speed broadband to a significantly greater number of rural homes and businesses in Norfolk.

“Since Better Broadband for Norfolk got underway two and a half years ago and over this time high-speed broadband has been made available to around 160,000 premises, and more and more homes and businesses are getting access to the new fibre network every month.

“There is still more to do and, while many villages and market towns in Norfolk have already benefited from the Better Broadband for Norfolk programme, bringing high-speed broadband to some of the more remote parts of Norfolk is particularly challenging.

“An extra £5.3 million will be a great help and, by the time the project finishes, should mean that broadband inequality in the county is virtually eliminated.”

Chris Starkie, managing director of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said: “We need to be a mobile and accessible world-class economy and high speed broadband is as essential as road and rail improvements.

“This extra £5.3m will bring broadband to more homes and businesses boosting the Better Broadband for Norfolk programme which has already reached 160,000 premises in the county.”

The money is part of a £129 million package from BT to improve broadband connections nationwide.