Digital Rutland Update
Rutland County Council remains confident that high-speed broadband will be in place across the county by 2013 – despite seeing a bid for national funding turned down.
Earlier this year, the council submitted a strong and detailed bid for £2 million to Broadband Delivery UK (known as BDUK), but in the face of strong competition from across the country, and only three areas being selected in the 1st round of funding, the bid was rejected earlier this week.
The ambitious Digital Rutland project aims to bring high-speed broadband to 99% of homes and businesses throughout Rutland by 2013.
Deputy Leader of Rutland County Council Terry King (pictured right) commented: We are obviously disappointed not to have secured this funding. However, we remain 100% committed to delivering the Digital Rutland project as we recognise the huge positive impact it will have on homes and businesses throughout the county”.
Councillor King added: “This is only one potential funding element of the Digital Rutland project and we still have many opportunities that we will be looking to take full advantage of. We are already arranging to meet with BDUK in June to get feedback on our bid and to make sure we’re ready to submit again. This is only the 1st round of funding and the council is entitled to some BDUK funds”.
Councillor King went on to say: “It’s always a challenge for Rutland to be successful when competing for national funding as we are so small. However, we managed to secure funding for the Oakham Bypass, we secured funding for Catmose Campus and Little Build, and we are determined to secure funding for high speed broadband”.
Chief Executive of Rutland County Council, Helen Briggs went on to say: “Local residents and businesses have been very supportive of our plans. They all recognise the tremendous benefit that can be gained from upgrading the broadband infrastructure. We have some areas of the county where you can’t even use a webcam or watch iPlayer. That’s clearly not good enough and Digital Rutland aims to change that”.
The council expects to make further funding applications in the coming months as well as appoint a strategic partner to work with on the project.