Rural communities aim for 4.6m broadband investment

Communities in Devon and Somerset is readying an application for millions in broadband funding from the EU.


Communities in Devon and Somerset is readying an application for millions in broadband funding from the EU.

The Blackdown Hills Parish Network, which comprises of 39 parish councils in the Devon and Somerset areas, has applied for funding via the European Development Fund.

This funding will help improve broadband coverage in the rural parts of the counties, which make up the majority of the area.

The network intends to pitch its application next month, which could potentially bring £4.6 million in funding for broadband projects in the area.

If it goes through, suppliers will be required to provide at least 30Mbps to the rural areas as part of the project, giving a significant boost to speed.

Heather Stallard, chair of the Blackdown Hills Parish Network, said that local residents were excited at the prospect of faster broadband.

“This is an exciting opportunity for all Blackdown parishes, many of whom have missed out on the current county-run broadband programme.”

“It will enable our residents and businesses to have access to the technology and trade routes of the 21st century and we hope that the Department of Communities and Local Government will look favourably upon our outline application.”

The government is currently rolling out superfast broadband to the majority of the country via its BDUK program.

This has however come under criticism from rural communities, who claim they will be left out due to the difficulty of laying cables.

Source: Cable

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