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8 March 2013, 13:41
Cambridgeshire County Council says installing superfast broadband will inject £500 million into the local economy.
Part of the plan is to make Cambridgeshire and Peterborough more attractives for businesses to invest in the area.
Today (Friday) Council Leader Nick Clarke signed a £45 million contract with BT Next Generation Access Managing Director Billy Murphy [pictured - above].
The telecommunications company was chosen by the Council to install fibre optic cables across 98 percent of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough by the end of 2015.
This will mean around 90 percent of the area will have access to speeds of at least 24Mbps, and 98 percent of homes and businesses will have access to speeds of at least 2Mbps.
BT is contributing £16 million towards the total price of the project, with the remainder of funding coming from Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).
The order in which the faster internet access will be rolled out across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will now be determined following surveys and studies by BT and the County Council.
Councillor Nick Clarke, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "This is a super deal for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, which will make us one of the best connected areas in the UK over the next three years.
We have made it happen by joining forces with our partners and taking the initiative to bring vital connections that will boost the local economy and ensure that those living in isolated communities are not left out of the digital world.
Better broadband will allow us to build upon the business and enterprise success of our region, helping to create local jobs and prosperity for the long term.
It will help our communities to thrive and make public services more accessible for our residents, particularly elderly and vulnerable people, and more cost-effective for taxpayers."