Faster broadband for 97% of Lancashire

Fibre optic broadband to be made available to 13,000 homes and businesses in Lancashire as delayed upgrade finally begins.

Faster broadband is making its way to more of Lancashire's homes and businesses.

Lancashire County Council has been working on a plan to provide superfast broadband at 97% of premises, but the government-supported initiative had to be pushed back because of delays in getting approval for European funding.

Now the upgrade is underway, BT will install around 700 new street cabinets connecting 13,000 properties to faster broadband with potential speeds of up to 80Mb.

As work is starting later than planned, the project has fallen well behind schedule and will now be complete 12 months after the original deadline - by the end of 2015.

Mike Blackburn, BT director for the North West, said: "This ambitious project will boost the productivity of local businesses and help to attract a more diverse range of high-growth companies. It will play a major role in creating prosperity in the county."

"We've been working hard to get us where we are today. This is an exciting time for Lancashire and the beginning of a journey that will see the communications landscape completely transformed."

BT is contributing £30million to the Superfast Lancashire scheme, while £10.8million has come from the government's Broadband Delivery UK fund and the European Regional Development Fund is due to put down approximately £16.5million.

Local authorities, including Lancashire County Council, Blackburn Council and Blackpool Council, will make up the remaining £5.2million of required funding.

It's all part of the government's aim for the UK to have the "best broadband in Europe" by 2015. Fibre optic broadband is being installed nationwide as councils sign deals with BT to deliver their superfast ambitions.

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