Councils bid for £1m broadband improvement fundingFeb 02, 2012
Bedford Borough Council is working with Milton Keynes and Central Bedfordshire Councils on a broadband plan to improve speed of service.
The views of business in the three areas are central to the plan and the authorities are seeking opinion via on on-line survey.
The project looks set to access more than £1million of funding including £440,000 from the government’s broadband delivery arm BDUK and £440,000 of match funding from the Bedford Borough Partnership Board.
Bedford Mayor Dave Hodgson (pictured) said businesses across the area needed improved broadband as a matter of urgency. He added: “This project will transform the way many people in the borough are able to access the internet and related broadband services.
“Our case for obtaining this funding will only be strengthened by a strong response to our consultation. I encourage residents and businesses to register their interest in faster broadband and help shape the future of broadband in the borough.”
Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Councils have also carried out broadband surveys. More than 800 people have responded to the Central Bedfordshire consultation but the council still wants more data.
Milton Keynes Council has completed its survey, the results of which will be shown to potential super-fast broadband providers to encourage them to see Milton Keynes as an area where they can invest in more infrastructure to help roll out Fibre-to-the-Premises broadband.
Cllr David Hopkins, cabinet member responsible for IT services, said: "Milton Keynes is a modern city that needs a state-of-the-art super-fast broadband network in order to ensure it stays ahead of the game when it comes to advances in technology for both business and residents.
"Having super fast broadband facilities in our city will encourage new business to look to Milton Keynes as a modern and forward thinking city and will open up possibilities for its residents.”
Cllr Richard Wenham, deputy executive member for corporate resources at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: "The more responses we get the stronger our case is for better broadband. Superfast broadband is a priority for Central Bedfordshire Council as it is essential for our communities to continue to thrive.
“It is also crucial to ensure we are able to offer the best possible resources for businesses wanting to establish themselves or relocate to the Central Bedfordshire area."