Heading to a faster web

Pictured is Jamie Randell ( Manager - Boarders Boards - Weedon )

Pictured is Jamie Randell ( Manager - Boarders Boards - Weedon )

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The project to speed up internet access across the area has taken another step forward with the naming of the preferred supplier.

BT has been chosen by Northamptonshire County Council as the preferred supplier to deliver superfast broadband infrastructure across the county.

The decision was set to be approved by cabinet yesterday (Wednesday).

Using the internet is key to many people’s business and private lives.

The county council is aiming for 90 per cent of premises in the county to have superfast (24Mbps and above) broadband speeds by the end of 2015, with the intention of all premises being able to access at least 2Mbps.

The county council plans to work with BT and local stakeholders to secure further funding in support of its ultimate ambition to achieve full coverage by the end of 2017 which can support even higher access line speeds of 30Mbps and above.

As part of its work the council has produced a map of the areas of the county where there are no commercial plans in the next three years to significantly improve internet speeds.

For the Daventry district that ‘not-spot’ area covers most of the rural areas, and some of the town, with only places like Staverton, Badby and Welton being looked at by commercial providers.

Jamie Randell manages Boarders Boards in Weedon, one of the areas identified for improvements.

He said: “We run our website and order things in online. I’d say about 30 per cent of our business is through the internet.

“Broadband speeds here are pants. It’s slow, it drops the connection, and it stops you getting work done.

“Faster speeds would mean I could get more work done in a day.”

Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) has allocated £4.08 million of funding, which will be matched by the council.

Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, county council cabinet member for infrastructure and public protection, said: “I’m delighted that our plan has reached this very significant stage.

“This will have huge advantages for Northamptonshire as it will allow the county to be a strong competitor in the global digital economy and allow everyone to have access to new and improved services that are increasingly available online.”