Oxford

Oxfordshire to get 'superfast' broadband

Faster broadband speeds will come to 64,000 Oxfordshire homes and businesses by 2015, according to BT.

The £25m programme will receive £10m from Oxfordshire county council, £4m from government and £11m from BT.

BT says at least 90% of premises should have access to broadband speeds of 24Mbps and above when the work is complete.

At present, the average broadband speed in Oxfordshire is 12.3Mbps and 10.6% of premises receive less than 2Mbps.

Economic benefits

The two-and-a-half-year programme aims to help ensure that everyone in Oxfordshire has access to a minimum of 2Mbps broadband speeds, a connection fast enough to watch BBC iPlayer.

Homes and businesses with access to "superfast" speeds of above 24Mbps will be able to stream video, share high-quality photos, download large files and video conference.

It is hoped the deal will bring social and economic benefits to rural areas with slow broadband two years ahead of the national roll-out programme.

Oxfordshire county councillor Nick Carter said: "Broadband is now seen almost as a utility like water or electricity, yet there are still areas where access is non-existent or far too slow.

"Without this intervention there is a danger that rural areas would be seriously disadvantaged, amounting to as much as a third of the county."

Oxfordshire is the most rural county in the south east of England.

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