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Superfast broadband wings its way to Peaks

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Work to bring superfast broadband to businesses and residents in rural communities continues with more than eight miles of cable being laid to upgrade Grindleford Exchange.

Fibre optic cables used to deliver superfast broadband will be installed in the ground to provide more than 1,600 businesses and homes with access to faster internet connections in areas including Hathersage, Grindleford and Hope Valley.

It is the latest development as part of the £27.67 million Digital Derbyshire project led by Derbyshire County Council in partnership with the UK Government and BT to provide more than 95 per cent of Derbyshire’s businesses and residents with access to fibre–based broadband by the end of 2016.

Councillor Joan Dixon, cabinet member for jobs, economy and transport, said: “This is fantastic news for people living and working in Hathersage, Grindleford and Hope Valley.

“This investment in superfast broadband will open up endless business and leisure opportunities and will help to boost our rural areas, support economic growth and allow local communities to continue to thrive.

“Whether it’s for business, shopping, education or socialising, the internet plays such a huge part of daily life for many of us and that will only grow in the future. That’s why we’ve been driving this project forward to boost the local economy by closing the digital divide which has left many areas of Derbyshire behind when commercial operators rolled out broadband services.”

Work to lay the cable to upgrade Grindleford Exchange has already started. It is expected to take a number of months to complete, bringing superfast broadband access to businesses and homes by the end of the year.

Rob Shakespeare, BT’s contract manager for Digital Derbyshire, said: “We’re really pleased with the progress of the first phase of the project. We’re lighting up Digital Derbyshire’s first connections and gaining great momentum.”

BT is contributing £12.87m to the project while the county council is contributing £4.9m.

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