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£20m broadband deal to create 1,000 new jobs
AT least 1,000 new jobs will be created following a £20 million overhaul of internet speeds in Worcestershire, it has emerged.
Bosses in charge of the groundbreaking three-year project say the private sector has suggested bringing superfast connections to the county will lead to a jobs bonanza.
Work done by County Hall, BT and the Federation of Small Businesses shows how companies of all sizes say the connections will help them grow and take on staff.
By June 2016, when the project is complete, at least 1,000 new positions will have been funded due to companies being able to rapidly speed up their work and complete orders quicker.
Councillor Simon Geraghty, county council deputy leader and cabinet member for the economy, said: “That’s the kind of difference this project will make - it will allow Worcestershire to compete as a place to do business.
“Three years ago the Government set out a clear ambition, which was to get superfast broadband to 90 per cent of homes - we’ve gone one further by including businesses too, and we think we’re unique in the country in doing that.
“This is the reason why. Broadband is so essential now, it’s almost become a fourth utility.”
The jobs figure has been backed up by private sector employers with superfast broadband already.
Tony Stephenson, who runs Traplet Publications, which produces magazines, books and DVDs, said: “We have offices in the US, South Africa, Australia, and every month we’ve got to download books for printing.
“Before now it could take eight hours to download a PDF - staff were leaving it going overnight, then sometimes they’d come to work the next morning and find the whole thing had crashed, and they’d got nothing.
“Now, the same job that took seven or eight hours will take seven or eight minutes - it’s transformed our business.
“We also use cloud technology and without superfast broadband, it’s totally useless.”
A timetable will be published in the autumn outlining which areas will get the superfast broadband first, and when.
Speeds will be able to reach 80 megabytes per second depending on the provider, enough to download music, films, any size of file and flick through web pages instantly.
At the moment superfast broadband is classed as any speed above 24 megabytes per second.
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