Internet boost to businesses as deal signed

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A multi-million pound investment in superfast broadband is set to aid economic growth.

A £22m contract between BT and Wakefield, Bradford, Leeds and Calderdale councils will extend access to high-speed fibre broadband to 97 per cent of businesses and households in the majority of West Yorkshire.

Ed Vaizey, the government’s communications minister, said: “This £21.96 million project will deliver an incredible transformation in broadband speeds for thousands of homes and businesses in West Yorkshire.

“It will be instrumental in driving growth, boosting the local economy, and achieving the Government’s objective of reaching 95 per cent of all UK premises by 2017.”

BT said 780 companies and individuals had already registered their interest in a business support programme to demonstrate the benefits of high-speed internet through the website www.superfastwestyorkshire.co.uk

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for Next Generation Access, said: “This project is vital to the future economic strength of all the local authority areas involved in this project.

“An enhanced digital infrastructure in West Yorkshire will help consolidate the area’s reputation for technology, innovation and enterprise and make this large part of the Leeds City Region a more attractive proposition for business re-locations and start-ups – including the creation of new, high-tech jobs.”