£1m investment to get north Norfolk right up to speed

Breckland Council has agreed a £950,000 investment into the Better Broadband for Norfolk project. Pi

Breckland Council has agreed a £950,000 investment into the Better Broadband for Norfolk project. Pic credit: Riu Vieira/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A £1m investment to help put north Norfolk in the internet fast lane looks set to be approved by district council leaders.

Funding is being pledged as part of the second phase of a countywide roll-out providing superfast broadband connection to rural areas.

The money is aimed at increasing high speed access in the district to 92pc within the next four years.

It is part of the Better Broadband for Norfolk programme which has enabled coverage in the district to increase to 74pc.

At 11pc, north Norfolk has the lowest level of commercially-funded broadband services in the county.

A partnership between the county council, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and BT, it provides superfast coverage to areas where it is not commercially viable.

The second phase will see investment from the district council match-funded by the government. Cash from a £5.3m excess subsidy 'claw-back' from BT will also be added to the pot. Government and claw-back funding will provide £2.50 for each £1 of council investment.

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The most remote homes and business will be offered vouchers for satellite broadband equipment to help improve internet access.

So-called 'not spots' are locations with internet access of less than two megabits per second.

Vouchers will meet the up-front costs of a satellite broadband dish, with homes and businesses then having to pay a monthly subscription.

Council leader Tom FitzPatrick said: 'The cabinet will take a view on whether to put money through, but superfast broadband is really important in rural areas, with 90pc of businesses employing 10 or less people.

'To grow, business owners need to be helped by the infrastructure.'

A decision on whether to approve the investment will be made at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, January 5.