Superfast web speeds for coast

Edwin Booth, chairman of E H Booth & Co Ltd, has taken on a new role as patron for Myerscough College
Edwin Booth, chairman of E H Booth & Co Ltd, has taken on a new role as patron for Myerscough College
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A £130m investment will see 97 per cent of Fylde coast businesses connected to super fast “fibre” broadband by the end of 2014.

And it is hoped 3,700 jobs will be created by the broadband revolution across the county.

Lancashire County Council (LCC) has agreed a £62.5m project with British Telecom (BT) which will deliver fibre broadband to parts of the county not covered by commercial deployments and will see the total amount invested in this technology in Lancashire rise to approximately £130m – making the county one of the best connected in the UK.

Business leaders last month flagged up broadband improvements as the single most important development for industry in the next 12 months, at the Blackpool-based Federation of Small Businesses’ annual conference in Scarborough.

And Edwin Booth (pictured), chairman of Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said the new broadband speeds were vital to businesses in the region.

He added: “This is incredibly important for the success of the Lancashire economy.

“The project will transform the broadband landscape across the county and ensure local businesses can become global businesses.

“It will ensure firms remain here and it will also attract a more diverse range of high-growth, high-value companies to the county.”

And County Coun Geoff Driver, leader of the Lancashire authority, said: “Today our ambition to provide Lancashire’s citizens and business with world-class broadband turns into a reality.

“It is important as many areas as possible benefit, and that is why we have ensured even the more remote areas of the county see a significant improvement in their speeds.”

Lancashire will be the first area to benefit from funding provided by the Government through its Broadband Delivery UK programme.

BT’s Fibre to the Premises technology will deliver ultra-fast speeds of up to 300Mbps

The firm’s Bill Murphy, added: “It’s great to see Lancashire be first out of the BDUK starting blocks in this regional race for speed. We’re looking forward to bringing the economic benefits of high speed broadband to businesses.