Nottinghamshire has been shortlisted for its second major, national award this year for its successful £30m rollout of superfast broadband to local homes and businesses.
The Connected Britain Awards are open to all public and private sector organisations involved in delivering all aspects of digital connectivity in the UK, from operators and alt-nets to government departments, local authorities and superfast bodies.
Nottinghamshire County Council is one of eight organisations shortlisted in the Superfast Award category for the overall connectivity project of the year. The award is open to all operators and altnets as well as superfast bodies and local authorities, covering schemes in both urban and rural areas.
All entries were assessed by an expert panel of judges before shortlisting, with the winners set to be announced at the Connected Britain conference in London on 18 and 19 June, which brings together digital industry leaders from across the UK.
Nottinghamshire was recently highlighted as one of the best places in the country for both the speed and availability of superfast broadband for its residents and businesses.
A study by broadbandchoices.co.uk study found that residents and businesses in the county have the second highest download speeds in the country. While the latest data from thinkbroadband.com – which compares the availability of superfast broadband in every district, county and region of the UK – shows that people living in Nottinghamshire are more likely to be able to access superfast broadband than in any other shire county in the country.
According to the latest data, 97.7% of homes and businesses in Nottinghamshire are currently able to access superfast broadband speeds (30 Mbps or quicker), compared to an East Midlands average of 97.2% and UK average of 95.6%.
In fact, superfast broadband availability in the Nottinghamshire districts of Mansfield (99.6%) and Broxtowe (99.4%) is better than in most UK cities, including Nottingham (98.9%), Manchester (95.4%), Leeds (97.1%) and Birmingham (96.9%).
The Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire programme has invested more than £30m in the area’s digital infrastructure over the last five years – making superfast broadband available to more than 80,000 homes and businesses not served by commercial providers, to-date.
Councillor Kay Cutts MBE, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “I am proud that our Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire programme continues to get national recognition, helping to raise the county’s profile as a leader for digital connectivity and our reputation as a county that invests in business.
“Having high quality digital infrastructure is a major advantage when we are competing with other areas to attract new jobs and investment. According to independent estimates, our superfast broadband rollout will generate £302m for the local economy over a 15 year period, representing a return of £11 for every £1 the County Council and our partners are investing.”
The County Council, working with Openreach, was also recently shortlisted for a Local Government Chronicle award – known as the local government Oscars – in the Best Public/Private Partnership category.
For further information on the Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire programme, visit www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/broadband