Tees Valley Combined Authority will this week agree investment to give over 15,000 more homes and businesses access to superfast broadband.
Proposals will be discussed at the Combined Authority Board meeting on 2nd November. It follows agreement reached between the Combined Authority and the government agency Broadband Delivery UK. The proposal will use up to £1 Million of funding secured by the Tees Valley under the Devolution Deal, matched with an equivalent contribution from BDUK, leveraging addition investment from the private sector. The programme will be delivered in partnership with Digital Durham, who have already worked successfully to connect thousands of homes across the region.
The first phase of the project to provide superfast broadband across Tees Valley was completed earlier this year giving a total of 15,556 additional homes and businesses, access to broadband. As a result the Tees Valley now has over 93% superfast broadband coverage.
But too many residents and businesses in the Tees Valley still experience lack of superfast coverage. The additional funding, which will come from the Tees Valley Investment Fund, aims to exceed 98% coverage by the end of 2018.
Dave Budd, Chair of the Tees Valley Combined Authority, said: “Digital connectivity is vital to residents and businesses in Tees Valley. We have made considerable progress, but the current level of access is still not good enough I want to see people and businesses in our area benefiting from the highest possible level of superfast connectivity. In the modern world this should be regarded as a vital utility; like access to water and power.
This is a good example of the benefits that flow from our devolution deal -bringing more investment into the Tees Valley to strengthen our economy and bring concrete benefits to our citizens”.
The BDUK contract in Tees Valley is currently delivered by BT under contract to Digital Durham.