Businesses, schools and hospitals in Bath & North East Somerset are set to benefit from major investment in the fastest broadband yet in the UK, after being chosen as a pilot area for a new scheme.
The authority, jointly with Bristol, is one of six areas chosen to pilot the first stage of a £200 million scheme aimed at supporting new industries, creating jobs and stimulating investment in the local economy.
It will also allow firms to reach more customers online by delivering superfast speeds of 1 Gigabit, or 1,000 Mb/second.
The announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has been welcomed by Councillor Paul Myers (Conservative, Midsomer Norton Redfield), Cabinet Member for Economic and Community Regeneration.
He said: “I’m proud that Bath and North East Somerset have been chosen to be at the vanguard of this cutting-edge development. It is recognition of the investment already taking place here and will provide a major boost for the local economy.
“But as well as benefiting business and employment, it will also have a much wider impact on the local community which is great news for residents, among others.
“Our Economic Development Team is working with colleagues from Bristol and central Government on the final details of how the investment will roll out across Bath, North East Somerset and Bristol.”
Potential additional benefits include:
- Hospitals could share High Definition quality graphics of medical scans in seconds, improving diagnosis speeds;
- School classrooms could see a big increase in the number of pupils who can stream educational videos at the same time;
- Creating enough public and private sector demand to reduce the risk of building new full-fibre networks.
Bristol City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council will share £10 million to trial the technology in order to learn about deliverability and effectiveness.