County will be up to speed

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COUNCIL tax payers in Lincolnshire are being asked to pay £14.3million to bring superfast broadband to 90 per cent of the county by 2015.

South Holland District Council will be asked to spend between £409,670 and £606,910.

Council cabinet members want to know precisely what businesses and residents will get – including how easily people in remote villages can connect – before it signs a memorandum of understanding with the county council.

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones warned a memorandum of understanding can soon become “a signature in blood” and more information is needed before any decision is made.

The Government gave £14.3million for the project last August and the county council wants that match funded. The county has thrown £10million into the pot and £300,000 will come from European funds (ERDF).

Lincolnshire’s district councils and NHS United Lincolnshire have been asked to plug the £3million gap although that could shrink with the possibility of a further £1.3million to £1.6million from EDRF.

South Holland economic development officer Nigel Burch says superfast broadband will involve mixed technologies, including wireless, satellite and fibre optics – but whether fibre optics will go to homes, businesses, a street cabinet or mast will depend on local circumstances.

Councillors posed questions they want answered before full council debates the issue on Wednesday. South Holland would still get the system if it paid nothing, but would have no say in how it is delivered.