Hundreds of homes and businesses in Elland and Brighouse look set to get superfast broadband as part of a near-£22m investment in West Yorkshire.
Calderdale Council has pumped more than £700,000 into the Superfast West Yorkshire project led by telecoms giant BT.
The project will see a combined investment of £21.96m by four participating local councils – Calderdale, Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield.
Kirklees has declined to take part in the project, saying it remains to be convinced that the scheme will provide value for money.
Clr Peter McBride, Kirklees cabinet member for investment and regeneration said: “The council is not joining the partnership with BT at this stage because it remains to be convinced the scheme provides sufficient value for money for many parts of Kirklees, particularly the business community where broadband service can be especially inadequate.”
Calderdale has been allocated the largest share of investment out of the four authorities taking part – the total possibly topping £5m.
The council aims to reach 93% of premises with superfast broadband – exceeding 24 Mbps – and deliver at least 2 Mbps to every business and household by 2015/16.
Clr Tim Swift, Labour leader of Calderdale Council, said: “Calderdale has lagged behind its neighbours for too long, suffering painfully slow internet access in many areas of the borough.
“Labour recognises that fast, reliable internet is very important to our local residents in order to access essential online services such as healthcare and other public services. It also enables residents to save money, access jobs and promotes learning.
“I’m confident that many residents will witness a significant improvement in their connection speeds with over 25,000 premises set to benefit from our Superfast Calderdale project.”
Clr Barry Collins, cabinet member for economy and environment, said: “This massive investment will put Calderdale well and truly on the digital map, providing more jobs locally and enabling greater business innovation.
“Developing such critical infrastructure, will promote a stronger, more competitive Calderdale economy and give our small businesses and start-ups the means to compete, grow, and reach their true potential.
“Over 2,500 Calderdale businesses stand to benefit, with research indicating the generation of around 420 additional direct jobs and an increase of over £30m in the value of goods and services we produce over the next 12 years.”
The installation schedule will be announced in the coming months, but the council said Calderdale residents could expect improved access to online services and better connectivity for our businesses from 2014 onwards.
Superfast West Yorkshire builds on BT’s commercial investment of £2.5bn to roll out fibre broadband to two-thirds of UK premises by the end of spring, 2014.