4:03pm Thursday 27th February 2014
BUSINESSES should get a boost thanks to an extra £2.39m earmarked to be spent on superfast broadband in Worcestershire.
The money is part of a £250m government package to improve broadband access in a bid to help business start-ups and job creation.
It will also benefit families allowing people to use multiple devices simultaneously.
This funding is in addition to the £1.2bn already invested by central and local government and will ensure 95 per cent of UK homes and businesses have access to superfast broadband by 2017.
The extra money was welcomed by Sharon Williams, acting CEO, Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.
She said: "Herefordshire and Worcestershire are already beginning to see the benefits to business of superfast broadband, so we are delighted that extra money will be available to help our many rural business communities to access superfast broadband which will allow them to more effectively compete in national and international market places."
The money is also a way to encourage local authorities to invest in superfast broadband and will be offered to them on a match funding basis.
A spokeswoman for Worcestershire County Council said: "In Worcestershire we are committed to extending the broadband infrastructure as far as possible with the funding available.
"Through the Superfast Worcestershire programme, high speed fibre broadband will already be rolled out to more than 90 per cent of Worcestershire's homes and businesses within the next three years.
"We now need to understand further what this announcement means at a local level, ensuring our continued focus on delivering a value for money programme for tax payers."
The government hopes that as well as improvements in the productivity of broadband-firms, faster broadband will create an additional 56,000 jobs in the UK by 2024.
The work of rolling out the infrastructure is also expected to boost local economies.
Over 10,000 homes and businesses are now gaining access each week, with this figure expected to reach 40,000 per week by summer this year.
For families, superfast broadband means parents can stream a movie at the same time their children upload photos and videos to social media sites and download tracks from their favourite pop stars.
It also helps businesses to use video conferencing, boost processing power and increase productivity.
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