Ministers act to give West Sussex broadband cash

A GOVERNMENT cash allocation to improve the West Sussex broadband network is to be awarded to the county council.

The county did not receive money for its bid in the second allocation of government funding announced on Friday, May 27, but culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said every local authority would be allocated funding by July.

The decision for the second allocation was announced by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) the body established by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to allocate the £530m earmarked by the government to improve the broadband network.

Mr Hunt said: “Although some local authorities will be disappointed by the announcement, they will soon have certainty as to the funds available to them. Rather than run any more competitions for pilots or projects, I intend by July to announce the allocation for every English local authority.”

County council leader Louise Goldsmith said: “Although we haven’t received funding immediately, we are pleased this is not the end of the story.

“We will now be working with BDUK to strengthen our plan and look forward to the secretary of state’s announcement in July.”

The county council has been lobbying internet service providers to help get faster broadband and tackle the ‘not spots’ where people are unable to get broadband at all.

A summit looking at broadband provision was hosted at County Hall last month by Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert and the county council.