Waveney MP Peter Aldous today welcomed the Government launch of a Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF) in England with confirmed funding of £20m.
The RCBF is delivered as part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), jointly funded by Defra and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).
Funds are aimed at communities in rural locations identified as being in the 10% hard to reach area covered by a Local Authority's Local Broadband Plan (LBP).
Eligible applicants can be: social enterprises; Community Interest Companies; Community trusts; Charities; Private Businesses (non-ISPs); and other formally constituted groups. Local Authorities may also apply on behalf of communities, or act as the managing authority for an application. Where this is the case, there must be a clear demonstration of community engagement and community support for the project.
Mr Aldous who has been campaigning for better broadband for Waveney since his election in May 2010 and who is an advocate of community engagement in achieving solutions to the final third, said:
“This is excellent news for Suffolk and in particular Waveney where we have some of the most difficult areas in which to roll out superfast broadband. We have already received a significant pot of funding for the Suffolk Local Broadband Plan, but even with this plan in place it is clear that some areas are unlikely to receive a superfast connection. I would encourage local communities with specific problems to work with the Suffolk Local Broadband Plan team to apply for this fund.”
The first Expression of Interest round is between 1 December 2011 and 31 January 2012.
Waveney District Council is conducting a Community Governance Review (CGR) for Lowestoft and the surrounding area and a Final Proposal has been published. Residents can use the Lowestoft CGR online consultation form to give their final comments on the proposal until 31 October 2016.
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