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Worcestershire parishes win broadband funding
RURAL parishes will have faster broadband after they successfully applied for funding.
Fourteen communities have been awarded grants by Worcestershire County Council and supplier Airband will begin the upgrade immediately.
Faster broadband will be coming to the parish of Little Witley, The North-West Malvern Parish Consortium comprising the parishes of Bockleton, Kyre, Hanley, Rochford, Eastham, Lindridge, Mamble and Bayton, as well as The Redditch Travel Arc Consortium, which includes Tibberton, Crowle, Hanbury, Stock and Bradley, and Feckenham.
The county council wants 90 per cent of Worcestershire's business and residential premises to have access to superfast broadband by 2015, with speeds of at least 2mbps for everyone else.
The authority and its partner organisations are talking to potential suppliers for the countywide scheme and there are plans to enter into contract in the summer.
The funding was available to those who could demonstrate they were unable to receive a minimum of 2mpbs download speeds and might not otherwise receive faster speeds.
Councillor Simon Geraghty, the council’s cabinet member for economy and infrastructure, said: “Congratulations to these communities and thank you to everyone who has worked to make this a reality.
“This will make such a difference to local people and in particular this will support and open up new opportunities to businesses within these areas.”
Peter Hill, from Little Witley, said: “This is brilliant news and the improvement we expect in our parish may well be immeasurable.
“Not only will it improve our quality of life when using broadband, which causes stress at the moment by constantly dropping out, but most importantly it will transform the ability to do business.
“I would thank Councillor Ken Pollock for his support and encouragement and Richard Levett of County Association of Local Councils.
“We could be the envy of many other parishes in the county and we are happy to share our experiences with others looking to do the same. My parishioners cannot wait for Airband’s infrastructure to be installed.”
Speaking on behalf of the North West Malvern Consortium, Nick Benbow, chairman of Lindridge Parish Council, said : “It is brilliant news that download speeds of up to 30mbps will shortly be available in our area at affordable prices. It will make a real difference to the lives of our residents, home-workers and businesses.”
There is still time to register interest in the scheme via worcestershire.gov.uk/broadband and more information can also be found at facebook.com/broadbandworcs.