Superfast broadband to be rolled out to 39,000 home in North Lincolnshire
A MULTI-million-pound project will see superfast broadband rolled out to 39,000 homes in North Lincolnshire.
North Lincolnshire Council is spearheading a £12 million project to deliver superfast speeds to people who have limited or no internet use.
This is around 27,000 people in North Lincolnshire – and the council plans to start improvement work later this year.
The authority secured £2.6 million under the Government's rural broadband programme to develop the project, along with £2.6 million match funding from the European Regional Development Fund.
A procurement phase is currently ongoing, where project partners are bidding to roll out the scheme in North Lincolnshire, contributing the remaining funds in the process.
Councillor Neil Poole, cabinet member for policy and resources at North Lincolnshire Council, said: "This change is as fundamental as the introduction of the mobile telephone in the 1980s.
"Now most people have mobile phones which are capable of unbelievable functions. It's hard to imagine life without the humble telephone.
"It really is a seismic shift in the way we will all communicate and do business in the future."
The 28-week procurement process is still ongoing, with a contract likely to be signed with a provider in the summer months. Work will start after that.
There are currently a number of areas that cannot receive any superfast broadband speeds, including Winterton, Epworth, Crowle, Kirton in Lindsey, Haxey, Belton and Burton-Upon-Stather.
As well as residents, the local authority is expecting small businesses to reap the rewards of superfast broadband.
Council bosses expect them to benefit from better trading, more marketing opportunities and lower costs as a result of superfast broadband.
Gavin Rowbottom, of North Lincs Electrical, said: "I use the internet all the time.
"We are in the process of having a website set up as we see it as a way to make us more accessible in the future.
"Superfast broadband is an important tool to enable rural businesses to develop and thrive."
Residents and businesses will be able to access the improved broadband infrastructure between late 2013 and March 2015, but precise roll-out plans are still unknown.
The Northern Lincolnshire Broadband Project is one of 35 nationally.