Broadband access in the county could be transformed after the Government approved ambitious £15 million plans led by Derbyshire County Council (DCC).
The authority is championing the ‘Digital Derbyshire’ programme to improve broadband infrastructure to allow better connection speeds.
DCC is one of the first to be given the green light to press on with its plans – backed by £7.39m from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme.
It means over 180,000 homes and businesses, including 22,223 in High Peak and 34,343 in the Derbyshire Dales, where there is currently no broadband connection or speeds are slow, are expected to benefit.
Councillor Kevin Parkinson, DCC Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “Securing fast and reliable broadband for Derbyshire is one of our priorities and approval of our plans is great news.
“Increasingly broadband is at the heart of everything we do – both for work and pleasure – and this will mean a huge step forward for the county as a whole.”
Cllr Parkinson said the project would help existing businesses to grow and attract new businesses dependant on 21st century technologies.
“For our residents it will make everyday life easier. It could be working from home through to personal use such as home banking, keeping in touch with relatives overseas, or using the internet for entertainment.”
Digital Derbyshire’s focus will be to deliver broadband speeds over 24Mbps across 90 per cent of the county and 2Mbps to the remaining ten per cent by 2015. The county council will now work with BDUK to secure an approved private sector partner to deliver the Digital Derbyshire project.