Vote could determine £950,000 broadband investment in Breckland


- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2011

Nearly £1m could be invested in improving superfast broadband coverage across Breckland with the aim of supporting rural businesses.

Breckland Council's cabinet will vote on Tuesday to decide whether to contribute £950,000 to bring the district's coverage up to 94pc, a 6pc increase, as part of the second phase of the Better Broadband for Norfolk (BBfN) scheme.

Total coverage of the county is not yet possible but if the cabinet also agrees to a satellite voucher scheme basic broadband could be rolled out to rural businesses in the 5pc of Norfolk not covered.

The satellite scheme is run nationally through the government's Broadband Delivery UK team and eligible applicants will be given a subsidy code which can be used with satellite providers.

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 council previously agreed to such a proposal if it could be proved to be value for money.

Cabinet members will decide on Tuesday if it has met this requirement.

Westminster has announced a commitment to universal broadband of at least 10MB per second by 2020.