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A new Delivering Digital Connectivity Strategy is being launched across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to significantly improve mobile, broadband and public Wi-Fi coverage.
Launched with £5.6 million investment from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, the funding will be used to extend the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, led by Cambridgeshire County Council, which has already successful rolled out superfast broadband access to over 96 per cent of the county and is on track to achieve 99 per cent by 2020.
Connecting Cambridgeshire will target a significant increase in the full fibre footprint across the area over the next four years, focusing upon improvements in voice and data mobile coverage, better public access Wi-Fi in market towns and villages, and trialling of 5G.
James Palmer, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: “Digital connectivity is a vital part of our area’s infrastructure. The Combined Authority is committed to our region having ‘outstanding’ digital connectivity that will support the growth of our local economy and improve the day to day lives of our residents.
“A strong mobile and broadband network is key to enable us to remain competitive in the national and international marketplace through the use of smart technology. We also want to see greater access to public Wi-Fi, which is why we are keen to extend free public access more widely, particularly across our Market Towns. Since the formation of the CPCA just over a year ago we have recognised the impact of digital connectivity infrastructure on businesses and communities and as a result we have prioritised funding for an ambitious digital connectivity strategy for the area to ensure that we have the digital connectivity services we need for now and for the future.”
Steve Count, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, added: “This is a golden opportunity to build on Connecting Cambridgeshire’s experience and track record of successful delivery, which has established Cambridgeshire as a leading digital county. Take up of superfast broadband in this region is among the highest in the country, showing that the demand and appetite to remain at the leading edge of digital connectivity is important for our businesses and communities.
“We live in a digital world where the internet has become the fourth utility. By working together with the Combined Authority and telecoms operators, we can meet the ever increasing demand for digital and mobile connectivity which is vital to support economic growth and help our communities to thrive.”