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Lib Dems welcome superfast broadband approval

November 22, 2012 11:28 AM

Plans to bring superfast broadband to Cambridgeshire homes and businesses at a cost of £6.7 million have been approved by the European Commission.

The news has been welcomed by Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats and means that work is now underway to recruit contractors and begin laying cables to put the new system in place.

Funded by the government, the scheme has to be approved by the Commission because it must agree projects which are financed by "state aid" and have the potential to distort competition or affect trade between member states of the EU.

Lib Dem Councillor, Nigel Bell (pictured) who represents Ely North and East on Cambridgeshire County Council said: "This is excellent news for Ely and its villages. It will hopefully encourage more businesses to relocate or start up in the city and give more people the flexibility to work from home.

"Those living in rural areas have often struggled to use the internet efficiently because download speeds are slow and connections are unreliable. Superfast broadband gives them access to on-line information and services that those living in the bigger cities take for granted."

Councillor Gavin Booth, Lib Dem Leader on Fenland District Council said: "This is very good news for Fenland and will bring huge benefits for the district especially the market towns. It has the potential to regenerate the community bringing new opportunities, new businesses and new jobs and combat social isolation and areas of deprivation.

"Faster broadband means greater opportunities for education and a chance for those living in remote rural areas to download news and entertainment, pay their bills on line and socialise."

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert said: "This is an exciting step forward for our city and the county generally.

"Superfast broadband will bring huge benefits to businesses making it easier for them to trade across the country and the world as a whole and strengthening our economy. This has the potential to create jobs and give companies more flexibility.

"It also brings new opportunities for everyone. Whether people use the internet for business, social networking, education or to access services or buy goods on-line it will be faster and more efficient. Hopefully this will encourage more computer literacy with the benefits that will bring."