Fund to bring in broadband

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THE region is set to get more than £3m so everyone in Tyne and Wear access to broadband.

The government has set out details of a £530m broadband investment fund with local authorities urged to play their part.

The private sector will take superfast broadband to around two-thirds of UK households and businesses, and this funding will be used to help take broadband to the remaining one third by making it viable for businesses to invest.

Now councils and local enterprise partnerships are now being urged to draw up an effective local broadband delivery plan, and matching the government’s investment with European, their own or private funds.

Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt, said: “Superfast broadband is vital to our economic growth, to the future delivery of public services and has become an integral part of our everyday lives.

“We will not allow some parts of the country to get left behind in the digital age.

“The government is investing £530m of public money to help bring broadband to every home and business in the UK, but we need local authorities to get on board, and to work with us to secure the social and economic future of their communities.

“I urge all those suffering the frustration of slow internet connections to make clear to your local authority that you need broadband, and urge them to play their part to secure the available investment.”

Each area’s funding allocation is based on the cost of taking superfast broadband to those premises that would not receive it from the market alone, and is not based on the number of people living or working there.

The Government wants the UK to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015, with 90 per cent of homes and businesses in each local authority area having access to superfast broadband and for everyone in the UK to have access to at least 2Mbps.