An extra £250 million of government money for superfast broadband will help business start-ups and job creation in some of the UK’s hardest to reach rural areas, Culture Secretary Maria Miller, has announced. The nationwide rollout is a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan to secure Britain’s future by providing access to superfast broadband, and in allocating funding the government has worked to ensure as many families and businesses as possible benefit.
Local projects around the UK will now receive additional funding from a £250 million pot, with the hardest to reach locations amongst those who stand to benefit most. This funding is in addition to the £1.2 billion already invested by central and local government and will ensure 95% of UK homes and businesses have access to superfast broadband by 2017.
The current rural programme will deliver returns of £20 for every £1 invested, representing tremendous value for money. As well as improvements in the productivity of broadband enabled firms, faster broadband will create an additional 56,000 jobs in the UK by 2024, and the work involved in the current roll out is expected to provide a £1.5 billion boost to local economies, with approximately 35,000 job-years created or safeguarded over the period to 2016. By 2024, the government’s current investments in faster broadband will be boosting rural economies by £275 million every month, or around £9 million every day.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller said: “Superfast Broadband will benefit everyone – whether they need it for work, to do homework or simply to download music or films. We want to make sure that Britain is one of the best countries in the world for broadband, and the extra £250m we are investing will help ensure communities around the UK are not left behind in the digital slow lane.”
Defra Rural Affairs Minister Dan Rogerson said: “Nothing will have a more spectacular effect on the rural economy than the roll out of superfast broadband. A decent broadband connection has the power to transform people’s lives, creating more rural jobs and a fairer society.”
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