Faster broadband will be available in Rutland by ‘end of year’

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Faster broadband will be available for people across Rutland by the end of the year thanks to a Government-funded project.

Rutland County Council is making final preparations for the rollout of the Digital Rutland project.

The council expects fibre broadband to be up and running in Oakham, Uppingham and the majority of villages this year.

The UK’s rural broadband plans received approval from the European Commission in December and Broadband Delivery UK, a specialist Government broadband team, should soon give the go-ahead for work to start in the county.

Digital Rutland was awarded £820,000 of national funding to help upgrade the broadband infrastructure.

The majority of the 17,500 homes and business in Rutland will benefit from broadband speeds of up to 80MB per second. Users currently get speeds of between 2MB and 10MB.

Rutland County Council deputy leader Coun Terry King (Con) said: “Once the council receives the green light from Broadband Delivery UK, local residents in Oakham, Uppingham, and the villages will see an influx of engineers working across Rutland.

“We plan to work quickly and we could see our first communities being capable of receiving fibre broadband during the summer months.

“The majority of homes and businesses will have access to high-speed fibre based broadband during 2013.

“We have already been very clear that there will be properties in extremely remote locations which will take a bit more work. Even those in the most rural locations will get between two to 24 MB per second.”

Due to conditions attached to the funding, the project will be unable to cover Hambleton, Lyddington and Essendine as another telecoms provider has already installed fibre broadband in these areas.

Digital Rutland is funded by Rutland County Council, BT and Broadband Delivery UK, which is part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

It will allow as many as 60 internet service providers to offer packages through fibre optic cables.

A contract was signed with BT in May last year and work will start as soon as the final approval from Broadband Delivery UK is received.

BT is carrying out work to upgrade the Oakham exchange as part of its separate commercial operations.

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