Speedy broadband coming to Somerset

SUPER fast broadband will be installed across Somerset thanks to a �100million scheme to improve internet speeds in the region.

Speeds of at least 20Mpbs will be made accessible to 22,500 homes and 1,000 business by 2015.

Connections could be as fast as 50Mbps in some areas.

At such speeds an album could be downloaded in less than a minute, while a high-definition video would take less than an hour.

Currently the national average is 6.8mps per second, but 21 per cent of homes in North Somerset have speeds of less than 1Mbps.

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North Somerset Council Deputy Leader Elfan Ap Rees said 30 per cent of businesses are home-based, relying on internet connections.

“More important than a car or road it is important to be online. It is especially vital in rural areas.

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“That is the way it is these days,” he said.

Work will begin in summer 2012. More than 85 per cent of homes will be able to access speeds of at least 20Mbps when the scheme is completed.

North Somerset Council is part of the joint scheme with Somerset County Council, Devon County Council, Torbay Council and Plymouth City Council.

North Somerset Council will put �250,000 toward the scheme while Somerset and Devon county councils will put in �10million each.

David Turner, Director of Development and Environment, said: “The Devon and Somerset bid is by far the most significant and ambitious programme to be supported by government.”

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