Dorries champions rural broadband

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Nadine Dorries is calling on broadband firms to play their part in the biggest internet upgrade in British history by bidding for up to £47 million to rollout lightning-fast gigabit broadband in rural Cornwall and Dorset.

The Digital Secretary visited the opening day of the Royal Cornwall Show yesterday (June 9) to champion the Government’s £5 billion broadband scheme.

She told an event hosted by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) that thousands of people in rural parts of Cornwall are a big step closer to getting much faster broadband thanks to Project Gigabit – the biggest government-funded broadband roll-out ever seen in the UK.

Broadband companies have been invited to bid for Project Gigabit contracts to bring fast connections to up to 26,000 homes and businesses in many of the hard-to-reach areas of Cornwall (19,000) and North Dorset (7,000). Work will commence on getting the infrastructure rolled out across areas from August this year.

Project Gigabit is giving rural areas unlikely to be reached by commercial roll out access to internet connections capable of download speeds of one gigabit, providing the speeds and reliability needed to future-proof homes and businesses for decades to come. The nationwide scheme will boost regional productivity, economic growth and level up by helping to close the digital divide.

Speaking at the Royal Cornwall Show, Dorries said: “Up and down the UK, we’re spending £5 billion to connect homes and businesses onto one of the fastest networks on the planet.

“We have pinpointed 19,000 homes and businesses across Cornwall, in places that are hard to connect. And we’re inviting broadband companies to bid for £36 million worth of contracts to connect those communities.

“This will make a real, fundamental difference to people’s lives. It means that a person can start a business anywhere they like, knowing that they get the exact same opportunities as someone in London or Manchester. And that’s what this Government is all about. Backing businesses, and backing communities, wherever they are.”

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