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'Superfast broadband' for East Lancashire in £43million scheme
PARTS of Blackburn and Burnley will benefit from the roll-out of ‘superfast broadband’ as part of a countywide telecoms revolution, it has been revealed.
Upgrade work will begin as part of the first wave of the Lancashire SFBB (Superfast Broadband) Project at locations across the two boroughs, and the village of Chatburn, during the next few months.
The work should see broadband speeds rocket ranging from two to 10 megabytes per second (MBPS) to between 50 and 330 MBPS.
Part of a £43.8million partnership between Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Council, the European Regional Development Fund and BT, it should revolutionise internet access countywide.
Under the scheme it is hoped that 97 per cent of Lancashire will be able to access superfast broadband by 2015.
County council chief executive Phil Halsall said in an executive report that the initial planning stages for the initiative had now been completed. “The ‘big build’ begins in early April with the first live services expected later in the spring,” he added.
The first round of streetside cabinets to be overhauled for SFBB will be in Leyland, which will benefit first in May.
Telecoms giant BT is already advancing its own plans for broadband and has exchanges in Accrington, Chorley, Clitheroe and parts of Rossendale hooked up to the system.
These developments should be followed during 2013 by Blackburn, Burnley, Bacup, Darwen, Nelson and Longridge.
Supporters of the scheme have established a website – www.superfastlancashire. co.uk – which enables those curious about superfast broadband to register and be kept updated regarding when their area will see Lancashire SFBB’s arrival.
The ERDF has pledged £16.5million, which has been matched pound for pound by BT. National funding body Broadband Delvery UK, backed by government is providing another £10.3million.
Another £4.7million has been earmarked from county council regeneration funding, should it be required.