Support to extend high-speed broadband for rural West Oxfordshire
West Oxfordshire District Council Cabinet has recommended allocating £1.6m to extend high speed broadband coverage to reach as many residential and business premises as possible across rural West Oxfordshire.
The District Council’s investment will boost the coverage already outlined in Oxfordshire County Council’s ‘Better Broadband’ project.
At the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 11 December, councillors made it clear that their ambition was to come as close as possible to having full coverage across the District.
Cllr Richard Langridge, Cabinet Member for Local Economy and Communities said: “Faster broadband will bring huge benefits to our residents as the internet is now part of day to day modern life, with more services, communications and entertainment all being delivered digitally.
“West Oxfordshire is one of the most rural districts in the South East with a high number of people running businesses and working from home. To continue to compete and thrive in today’s business world, high speed broadband is vital for them and for our local economy. Because of this we feel it is essential to extend coverage as much as possible in the District.”
The District Council will be exploring all options to increase broadband coverage including one to extend the County Council’s Better Broadband project, working with their contractor, BT.
Further options including levering in additional external funding, alternative such as high speed wireless networks and business models where the Council can generate a return on its investment will also be explored.
Work to determine the coverage and timescales is already underway and it is hoped the results will be known in the Spring.
The Cabinet’s recommendation will be discussed at the next Council meeting on 22 January 2014.
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