Thousands could be linked to top speed broadband

CALDERDALE could get up to £7.4 million to link 30,000 thousand homes and businesses to a superfast broadband network.

The key broadband line already runs through Calderdale beside the railway line and the Rochdale Canal but the nearest access point is Huddersfield.

Calderdale Council Cabinet will discuss backing a West Yorkshire-wide bid for government funding to improve broadband speeds when it meets on Monday.

Economy and environment spokesman Barry Collins said faster broadband would be good for residents and the local economy.

“If we are going to attract and retain high technology businesses we must ensure that we are providing them with every opportunity to compete.

“Better broadband access and faster line speeds means that businesses are able to innovate and increase productivity, particularly in knowledge-based enterprises,” said Coun Collins (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden).

Under the government’s BDUK scheme, £530 million is available nationally to fund faster broadband.

Calderdale could benefit by up to £7.4 million if the West Yorkshire bid is successful but it would require match funding.

The council will seek to gain additional funding from the Yorkshire and Humber European Regional Development Fund.

l Superfast broadband means speeds of more than 20mbps and up to about 100mbps.

Not only does it make things like downloading files up to 30 times quicker, it fundamentally changes what can be done over the internet.

The way people access education and public services online can been improved and medical conditions can be remotely monitored.