Cash boost for internet

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MORE than £14million is to be spent to improve internet connection speeds in the county thanks to a successful grant bid.

It is hoped that the money will be used to transform Lincolnshire’s broadband “not-spots”, including many in rural parts of South Holland, into “hot-spots” to boost businesses and help residents access vital services and information online.

The money was granted as part of a national drive to ensure that 90 per cent of homes and businesses have access to superfast broadband by 2015.

A report earlier this year suggested that in South Holland it was “almost 100 per cent” certain that firms such as BT would not roll-out high speed connections by then because of the costs involved.

But it was also suggested that superfast broadband could bring an economic uplift of between £47m and £66m per year to the county.

Coun Eddy Poll, Lincolnshire County Council executive member for economic development, said: “This money will help kick-start the roll-out of first-class broadband across the county.

“Fast broadband isn’t a luxury – it’s vital to business growth, to enabling local residents to access online services, and to young people wanting to download learning materials.

“This grant will give greater internet speeds for a significant number of properties and we’ll then work on community-led solutions to improve things for remaining homes and businesses. That way, we’ll ensure Lincolnshire’s not left behind as we move into the digital age.”