Every business in Northamptonshire will be able to benefit from superfast broadband by 2017, a new report claims.
The report, drawn up as part of a consultation by Northamptonshire County Council regarding its on-going broadband strategy, argues that once the council achieves its aim of bringing in a suitable telecommunications partner to help extend the county’s current network, then this will pave the way for broadband speeds across the entire county to increase, from 24Mb/s to 30 Mb/s.
The council is planning to bring in a telecommunications partner to help provide broadband access to what are termed the county’s ‘white areas’; those parts of the region generally deemed insufficiently lucrative to warrant private investment in broadband without public sector help.
It is hoped that the potential partner will be encouraged to participate in the expansion scheme by way of subsidies of £4 million secured from the national government broadband infrastructure initiative, Broadband Delivery UK; together with an equivalent amount matched by the council’s own funds.
The report argues that the additional benefit this scheme will have – of increasing county-wide broadband speeds to the superfast level of 30 Mb/s – could boost the local economy by up to £92 million each year; and also lead to the creation by 2026 of an additional 1,500 jobs.
The report predicts that the council’s plans will already start reaping benefits by the end of the year, when, it says, 60% of private and business residences in Northamptonshire will have access to superfast broadband.
In addition to providing businesses with faster, more sophisticated, and more reliable internet connections, superspeed broadband will also offer businesses the opportunity of improving communications with customers and suppliers; through such applications as internet protocol (IP) telephony, and business VoIP (voice over internet protocol).
IP telephony and business VoIP would also give companies greater control over the scalability of business phone systems.