Councils pledge £48 million drive for broadband

South Holland is to benefit from a �48 million investment in superfast broadband across the county over the next three years.
South Holland is to benefit from a �48 million investment in superfast broadband across the county over the next three years.
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South Holland is in line for part of a £48 million investment in superfast broadband across Lincolnshire over the next three years.

The project was confirmed by Lincolnshire County Council cabinet member Richard Davies just a week after readers told the Guardian about problems they were having with poor mobile phone reception in South Holland.

Coun Davies said the project would ensure that 88 per cent of the county would have access to superfast broadband by April 2016, with both South Holland, Bourne and The Deepings to benefit from improved broadband between January and June next year.

He said: “We know how vital good broadband is for both residents and businesses so to make sure the county doesn’t miss out on the opportunities that digital technology brings, local councils are investing heavily in improvements.

“Around £48 million will be spent on rolling out superfast connections to 88 per cent of the county between now and April 2016, but we’ll make sure that even the most rural of areas has access to at least standard broadband.

“The area around Spalding is within phase one of the project, initial engineering works on the main cabling is currently taking place and the first cabinets should be going live in the near future, bringing access to superfast speeds.

“Hopefully by improving the basic infrastructure, mobile phone operators will be tempted to take advantage of the opportunity to expand their existing services, meaning there could be knock-on benefits in this respect.”

The project is a result of a countywide campaign last year led by Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce and backed by the Guardian to bring better broadband to the county.

Simon Beardsley, the chamber’s chief executive, said: “There is a real threat that Lincolnshire will lose out if we don’t get access to a reliable high-speed broadband connection which will allow businesses to have regular and instant communication with customers and colleagues.”