Ambitious step in strive to secure full high-speed broadband coverage
The District Council’s Cabinet has agreed to back an independent service provider in a bid to secure superfast broadband for as many residents and businesses as possible across rural West Oxfordshire.
Cabinet Members have decided that the Council should work with locally-based Cotswolds Broadband to try to deliver full high-speed broadband coverage in the District.
A countywide project is already under way to provide 90% coverage in Oxfordshire and the Cabinet had a choice as to whether to invest in this to achieve 95% coverage, or to use its funds to strive towards gaining 100% coverage.
Members agreed that the Council should work independently and invest, subject to appropriate safeguards, £1.6m as a loan to support Cotswolds Broadband in delivering the final 10% not covered by the county project.
William Barton, West Oxfordshire District Council’s economic development officer, said: “Our Members have been very clear in their aspiration to secure full coverage in West Oxfordshire and it was agreed that working with Cotswolds Broadband was the best opportunity to do this.
“Investing in the countywide scheme would still have left around 2,000 properties in West Oxfordshire without a high-speed service. Members felt that they owe it to the District and everyone who lives, works and visits here, to try to maximise the potential chance of achieving as close to 100% coverage.
“Although things are still in the very early stages and there is a lot of work to be done to progress the project, this is exciting news for West Oxfordshire.”
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