The roll out of superfast broadband to thousands more homes and businesses across Milton Keynes is now underway.
The first cabinet in the Milton Keynes area to be enabled with fibre broadband as part of the Central Superfast project will be unveiled tomorrow by the Mayor, Councillor Subhan Shafiq.
Central Superfast is a joint partnership between Milton Keynes Council, Bedford Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council and BT and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) the government broadband delivery agency.
It aims to build upon the private sector’s roll-out to extend the availability of fibre broadband to 97 per cent of homes and businesses in Milton Keynes by spring 2016.
Milton Keynes Council is contributing £2.4m into the Central Superfast project with an additional £2m from BDUK and £6.2m from BT.
Around 82 per cent of premises in Milton Keynes already have access to superfast broadband with plans to add another 36,000 to this total across Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes.
In addition, the project aims to ensure broadband speeds of above two megabits per second are made available to all homes and businesses that would otherwise still be getting slower speeds.
“It is vital that we invest in our Superfast Broadband roll out not only because it is crucial to the success of our local businesses, and especially our small business community,” said Councillor Robert Middleton, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure.
“But also because as a City our residents are rightly demanding ever greater access to only top class digital infrastructure.
“The new Cabinet is committed to meeting that challenge over the coming months.”
Annette Thorpe, BT’s Regional Partnership Director for the East of England, said: “We have been working hard to get us to this important milestone.
“This is an exciting time for Central Superfast and the beginning of a journey completely transformed.
“This project will boost the local economy and help to create and protect local jobs. It will be of enormous benefit to local businesses which can use the faster speeds to improve their competitiveness both within the UK and abroad.”
Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: “This fantastic news marks the next stage of a remarkable transformation of Broadband in Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes, with 35000 homes and businesses to gain access to superfast speeds by 2016.
“We understand how important access to superfast broadband is - the UK already does more business online than any other European country, and the widespread access to superfast broadband that this scheme will deliver will provide a tremendous boost to the local economy.”