04:48AM, Monday 07 October 2013
High speed Broadband should be available across 90 per cent of the county within two years.
This follows the signing of a contract between BT and Berkshire's six unitary councils - including Slough and the Royal Borough.
Communications minister Ed Vaizey turned up to watch the signing - which represents a key stage of the government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme. Also present were Royal Borough council leader Cllr David Burbage - the current chairman of the county leaders' group covering all six Berkshire authorities - and Bill Murphy, BT’s Managing Director Next Generation Access.
The new agreement will see high speed fibre broadband made available to 91 per cent of Berkshire premises by the end of September 2015 - an extra 18,000.
The £8 million project aims to eliminate for ever the slow speeds that currently bedevil areas of the county - BT has put £4million into it, the government and the six local authorities each contributed £2million.
Councillor Burbage said: “For many people living and working in rural areas, this is an important day. They will soon be able to enjoy the benefits of faster access to the internet – benefits that some other people have had for some time.”
Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: “Today’s contract signing marks the start of a remarkable transformation of Broadband services throughout Berkshire."
Bill Murphy, Managing Director of Next Generation access for BT, said that businesses in towns, villages and hamlets across the county could now be connected in a way they never had before.
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