A deal with BT to provide superfast broadband will make Surrey the best connected county in the UK and could boost its economy by almost £30m a year.
Surrey County Council has signed a contract with BT to create a county-wide high-speed network to help firms to do business online and ensure communities are not left behind.
It will mean connection speeds of up to 80Mbps will be available with BT also due to launch an ultra-fast broadband on demand service with speeds of up to 330Mbps. Ofcom says the UK’s average broadband speed is 9Mbps.
Surrey has estimated that the high-speed internet service will boost the county’s economy by around £28m annually.
The £33m deal was done to ensure the county council achieves its aim of providing superfast broadband for up to 20% of businesses and homes – more than 90,000 premises – not included in the commercial roll-out nationally.
It means nearly 100% of Surrey businesses and homes will be covered by the end of 2014. The national aim is for 90% of the country to have access to superfast broadband by 2015.
Surrey’s Deputy Leader Peter Martin said: “The county council has done a deal that will make Surrey the best connected county in the country and could boost our economy by around £28m a year.
“This will be a great boost for business, from start-ups in small offices through to multi-nationals. It can be crucial to the continued success of Surrey businesses and a huge attraction to those looking to move in.
“Fast and reliable web access is also essential to our daily lives and by stepping in we’re making sure no Surrey communities are disadvantaged.”