£240,000 boost gives project bringing superfast broadband to 98 per cent of Herts a jump start

Superfast broadband is on its way to Hertfordshire

Superfast broadband is on its way to Hertfordshire - Credit: Archant

An ‘acceleration package’ means that the next £13.9 million stage of the project will kick off in January, rather than next summer.

And the completion date for the project has been brought forward nine months, so that broadband coverage will now reach 95 per cent of Hertfordshire premises by March 2017 with more than 98 per cent coverage by the end of June 2018.

The new timetable means £240,000 can be shaved off the budget, which will be invested back into the Herts programme.

The Connected Counties project is already well on the way to ensuring more than 90 per cent of Herts and Bucks have access to fibre broadband by the end of March.

Councillor David Williams, Herts County Council’s cabinet member for enterprise, said: “Access to reliable fast internet is essential for homes and businesses. Businesses rely on being able to connect with customers quickly and home users are increasingly making the most of online streaming services, so a good connection is key.

“It’s great news that Connected Counties is now ahead in its scheduled releases and more people will have the opportunity to make use of it sooner.”

Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Andrew Percival added: “Our contribution has been instrumental in addressing significant gaps in superfast broadband at three of our most significant business parks including Gunnels Wood Road in Stevenage.

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“Several hundred small and medium businesses now enjoy an uplift in broadband services.”

Bill Murphy of telecommunications firm BT, a partner in the project, said: “Working with government, local authorities and local communities, we want to make faster broadband available in even the most challenging locations.”

For more information about Connected Counties and to find out whether your premises is part of the programme visit www.connectedcounties.org

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