Millions more for superfast

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Another £4.7million will be injected into Lincolnshire’s broadband network to extend superfast speeds to 95 per cent of the county.

Business leaders say the latest cash boost is good news for the rural economy.

The county council has been awarded £2.35million from the national Superfast Extension Programme and will match fund the sum.

In 2011, a massive £48million was ploughed into Lincolnshire’s superfast project from partners including the Government, county and district councils, and BT with the aim of making the service available to 90 per cent of addresses.

In its first year, the onlincolnshire project rolled out superfast broadband to parts of Spalding, Holbeach, Gosberton, Donington, Moulton and Lincoln – but there are still key areas left to be covered.

Phil Scarlett, president of Spalding and District Chamber of Commerce, said: “Once you get out of Spalding and Pinchbeck, you are into generally weak spots.”

Mr Scarlett says slow broadband speeds are an issue in Crowland, Long Sutton and parts of Holbeach – and he hopes the new cash investment from the Government and Lincolnshire County Council will mean they can soon enjoy superfast.

He says the benefits of superfast broadband are potentially immense so far as use of social media and Skype are concerned.

Mr Scarlett said: “Business people in rural communities can cut out the need to travel miles to meetings by using Skype to have those meetings.”

He wants to see the county council roll out superfast to the more isolated areas and to continue running workshops to show businesses how they can make the best use of it, such as the Boost Your Business Online workshops.