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High-speed broadband roll-out hits halfway

Local schoolchildren (from left) Leila Sobers, Carly Thomas and Naomi open a new Cabinet in Virginia Water. Click image to download

A project to make Surrey the best connected county in the country has hit the halfway mark.

The number of homes and businesses able to benefit from the high-speed service has reached 42,000.

It comes after Surrey County Council joined forces with BT to create a county-wide network to help firms do business online and ensure all communities get all the benefits of the digital world.

The project aims to reach the 84,000 premises not covered commercially.

Surrey’s goal is to give nearly everyone access by the end of 2014 compared with the national superfast broadband aim of 95% by 2017.

Once completed, the project could boost the local economy by up to £30 million a year.*

Surrey County Council’s Deputy Leader Peter Martin said: “This is great news and confirms we’re well on the way to making Surrey the best connected county in the country by the end of the year.

“The benefits are significant, both economically and socially. Surrey’s economy will be boosted by up to £30 million annually and homes will get fast, reliable internet access.

“We’ll now push on from this milestone to make sure nearly everyone in Surrey enjoys the benefits that high speeds offer.”

More information can be found in a BT press release.

* Based on World Bank research, which showed that a 1% increase in broadband coverage results in a 0.12% rise in GDP. Surrey’s GVA – equivalent to GDP – is around £30 billion a year, meaning growth of 0.1% growth would result in a £30 million boost.

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