BT has signed a deal with councils to expand the rollout of superfast broadband in the Greater Manchester area to 39,000 premises.
Councils in Stockport, Bolton, Wigan, Bury, Tameside, Oldham, Trafford and Rochdale signed deals with BT to see the expansion of the services into key areas and business districts.
BT is stumping up £4.6m towards the deal, while £2.5m is coming from the councils. The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is adding £4.9m while the final £3m is coming from the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) fund.
The deal expands the amount of work BT is doing in the region, with plans for 900,000 homes to be passed already by spring in 2014. The latest plans will be completed by March 2016, BT said.
Eamonn Boylan, chief executive of Stockport Council, the lead local authority for the project, said expanding the availability of superfast broadband across the region was vital for the future economic strength of the area.
“We want to see Greater Manchester become one of the world’s top digital cities by 2020. Access to fast and reliable broadband is becoming increasingly important for homes and businesses,” he said.
“These proposals would ensure local businesses can make the most of digital technology – boosting the local economy, generating growth, creating jobs and attracting further investment.”
The deal was also welcomed by communications minister Ed Vaizey who said it underlined the growing strength of the digital economy across the UK.
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