Work starting on faster broadband

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Preparation work to bring superfast broadband to residents and businesses could begin as early as this summer

Both Lincolnshire and Rutland county councils have signed multi-million pound deals with BT to improve broadband infrastructure.

Digital Rutland, a joint project between Rutland County Council and BT, has received final approval by Government department BDUK.

The go-ahead means every one of the 10 exchanges in the county will be upgraded to fibre broadband during the year.

Most homes and businesses will be able to get download speeds of up to 80 Mbps.

Even properties in the most rural villages will be able to access speeds of between two and 24 Mbps.

Deputy leader of Rutland County Council, Terry King (Con) said: “We are absolutely delighted that work can now get underway to bring fibre broadband to towns and villages across Rutland.

“Digital Rutland is pleased to confirm that every exchange in Rutland will be upgraded and I’m sure this will be welcomed by our local community who we know are supportive of this project.”

The county council is ploughing more than £2.3m into the project which includes an £820,000 grant it received from BDUK. BT has also contributed £800,000.

Engineers have already started survey and planning work, when the likely speeds for individual areas will become clearer.

Once this planning work is done, work to upgrade the exchanges in Oakham, Uppingham, Belton, Cottesmore, Empingham, Manton, Morcott, North Luffenham, Thistleton and Whissendine will start in the summer.

Lyddington, Hambleton and Essendine already have a broadband provider offering fibre broadband so these areas are not part of the Digital Rutland plans.

And in Lincolnshire work to upgrade exchanges between Bourne and Market Deeping is likely to start by the end of the year.

While Stamford, Bourne and the Deepings have all been upgraded to superfast broadband by BT, residents in many of the villages in between still have to put up with speeds below 2 Mbps.