Council receives £3.8m broadband windfall

The success of a scheme to make Surrey the best connected county in England has triggered a £3.8m broadband windfall.

That is Surrey County Council’s share of funds made available by BT after better than expected take-up of fibre broadband.

Superfast Surrey connected around 20% of homes and businesses – more than 86,000 premises – that were not included in commercial roll-out plans after it was revealed that the initiative could give the county’s economy an annual boost of nearly £30m.

The council’s project propelled the number of premises in the county with access to high-quality broadband to more than 96%.

Now the authority has signalled that it plans to use the cash windfall to give as many ‘hard to reach’ premises as possible access to a speedy service.

Deputy leader Peter Martin said: “We’re already the country’s best connected county and now we can look at beginning to help people in those hard to reach parts of Surrey, which we simply couldn’t do without this cash given the severe strain rising demand for services like adult social care is putting on our finances.”

More information can be found in a report agreed by the council’s Cabinet.

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