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SEEDA To Provide 375k Funding For Rural Community Broadband Projects

24 March 2010

Rural communities throughout the South East can now apply for capital grants to increase their access to broadband.

The funding programme is expected to improve local services, stimulate economic development and increase social inclusion.

Through the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), £375,000 has been made available until the end of 2010.  The grants are provided through the European Economic Recovery Programme and managed by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA).  

Robert Crawford, Operations Director as SEEDA, says: “SEEDA has worked in partnership with local authorities and telecommunication companies to bring broadband to rural communities across the South East. This grant funding will help rural communities compete with areas that already have sufficient broadband access and promote growth throughout the local economy.”

The funding will provide access to broadband infrastructure or upgrade the existing network to ensure a minimum speed of 2Mb/s is reached. Expressions of interest must be received by 31 May 2010 and fall within areas which have already been identified as ‘white’ or ‘grey’*.

Robert adds: “SEEDA’s broadband investment to date is estimated to have provided a broadband service to over 1,500 premises, 10% of which have been rural based businesses. It is essential that the South East builds on this to provide every community, regardless of its location, with the same opportunities.”

More information about the RDPE fund for Rural Community Broadband please click here. For further information, please contact David Cooper at SEEDA on 01483 501304

For media enquiries please contact: Stuart Pearson, PR & media manager on 01483 501362 or stuartpearson@seeda.co.uk.

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