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Fibre broadband funding concerns in Devon and Somerset

Monday, June 23rd 2014 by Editorial
There are concerns over the continued delivery of fibre broadband to Devon and Somerset due to delays with a funding application.

Local authorities in Devon and Somerset need to put in an application to the government to receive extra cash to deliver fibre broadband throughout the two counties, with the deadline for this at the end of the month.

However, the application is yet to be submitted and councils in Devon, Torbay, Plymouth, Bath, Somerset and North Somerset need to raise match funding before being able to receive the money, which has led to concerns regarding the future of the rollout, the Western Morning News reports.

Altogether, the scheme needs £94 million to transform the technological infrastructure in the south-west, with the government pledging £22.75 million to the rollout.

MP for Tiverton and Honiton Neil Parish has said that he has approached Culture Secretary Sajid Javid to ask for more time with the application.

Connecting Devon and Somerset's Programme Manager Matt Ballard explained: "The team is working hard with Broadband Delivery UK on our application to secure the £22.75 million funding available."

It is hoped the cash will be secured in the near future, as it will help the regional rollout to bring the high-speed technology to approximately 90 per cent of residential and commercial properties in the area.