18.6 million deal to roll out super-fast broadband across Bucks …

Bucks and Herts county councils have signed a contract with BT which will see fibre broadband becominn available to more than 90 per cent of premises by the end of March 2016.

It means 38,500 homes and businesses in Bucks will be able to have internet speeds of up to 80Mbps. Additionally, the project aims to ensure that everyone in Bucks has access to a minimum of 2Mbps broadband speeds enough to watch the BBC iPlayer. The scheme builds on BT s commercial roll-out which has so far made the technology available to more than 153,000 homes and businesses in Bucks.

BT is contributing 8.6m to the project while Bucks and Herts are contributing 3.7m and 1.61m respectively. A further 4.15m is coming from the government via its Broadband Delivery UK fund. Buckinghamshire County Council leader Martin Tett welcomed the deal: This is a fantastic step forward in our commitment to make the county a great place to do business and to live.

Superfast broadband has the potential to transform our economy and our lives as dramatically as the railways did for the Victorians. Bill Murphy, BT s managing director of Next Generation Access said: This is fantastic news and this project will move Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire well and truly into the broadband fast lane. We re already seeing the positive impact that faster, fibre broadband is having and now, thanks to this partnership, this investment will further boost the position of the two counties as being among the leading creators of new businesses.

Government communications minister Ed Vaizey added: This Government is committed to transforming the nation s broadband, and today s announcement is tremendous news for the people of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. This project will deliver a huge boost to the local economy, and more than 52,500 homes and businesses across these Connected Counties will be able to enjoy all the benefits that superfast broadband has to offer. Improving broadband speeds has long been an ambition of both county councils.

More than 11,700 residents and businesses in the two counties registered their interest in receiving superfast broadband following a successful campaign.

BT was chosen by the councils following what they called an extensive and thorough procurement process .

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