Government extends rural broadband funding application deadline …

The Government has given local councils and community groups an extra three weeks to apply for a share of 20 million to fund the rollout of broadband services in rural areas.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) confirmed the deadline extension earlier today, which will see participants given until 17 June to submit their applications.

Funding is still available and I don t want communities to miss out on this great opportunity.

The original deadline had been set for 24 May, but the department has pushed this back to give local authorities more time to apply.

The previous two funding rounds closed on 31 January 2012 and 6 July 2012.

So far 50 applications have been invited to participate in the final round, which will see them fight it out for a share of the Rural Community Broadband Fund s 20 million.

A wide range of rural community groups including local charities, trusts, and social enterprises were invited to apply for funding to support the rollout of superfast broadband services to areas with little or no internet coverage.

Through the initiative, these organisations were invited to bid for as sum that would cover up to 50 per cent of their broadband project s infrastructure costs.

Richard Benyon, environment minister, said the project was an important part of getting rural economies moving.

Funding is still available and I don t want communities to miss out on this great opportunity, he said.

Superfast broadband is transforming the lives of rural businesses and communities by helping them tap into new markets, get better exposure and save time in their working day, he added.

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