The rollout of better broadband to 95% of Lincolnshire is ahead of schedule, say project partners Onlincolnshire and BT.
The project, which has gained around £40.3 million of investment so far, has now brought faster broadband to 74,000 homes and businesses across the county.
The rollout is delivering superfast access – internet speeds greater than 24 Mbps – to those properties not covered by existing commercial networks.
The coverage amounts so far to 75%, with the aim set to reach 95% coverage by 2017 and an additional 1700 premises a week.
Nationally, rollout of better broadband has hit a two million milestone. Of these, 188,955 properties in the East Midlands are now enjoying access to faster speeds.
Liz Truss MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs took a tour of Lincoln Technology Hub on the University of Lincoln campus on Monday, February 9, which offers businesses access to the latest technology.
Liz Truss MP said: “We are seeing the impact here in Lincolnshire with more jobs being created.
“We are seeing more activity in rural areas as they get connected. It means that you can run a business from somewhere quite remote and you can reach the rest of the world.
“Today, we are launching pilot projects to look at solutions for that final 5% because, having access to broadband is vital for all kinds of businesses, whether you are a farmer or a small rural business.
“We are seeing a very high rate of start ups in rural areas, higher in fact than urban areas outside of London.”
Councillor Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development said:“We in Lincolnshire are ahead of our target and we in Lincolnshire have close to 75,000 home connected.
“We’re seeing a real increase in the number of people signing up for superfast broadband, and with the improvements being rolled out even more will be able to benefit.
“Improved broadband is not only vital for business growth, but for all residents accessing services, including the growing number of silver surfers, and for young people looking to download learning materials. The possibilities are endless.
“So check our website to find out whether you’re in a superfast area, and contact your internet service provider to upgrade your package.
“I have no intention of anyone being missed out. People say that roads are critical but this is even more critical in my view.
“Once we have this sorted out I want to get mobile phone technology and start thinking about how we are going to address those issues. We need to have 4G everywhere.”