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Defra’s Rural Broadband fund deadline extended to June

Defra’s Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF) deadline has been extended, giving local authorities and communities more time to apply for cash. 

The £20 million fund was originally due to expire at the end of this week, May 24, but it’s now been extended to June 17.

The RCBF will provide money for 50 per cent or more of a project’s costs and is aimed specifically at plugging rural broadband not-spots. Already, locations in Rothbury and Durham are in line to benefit from the fund which will augment big BDUK regional projects and see FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) broadband pushed deeper into harder to reach places.  

Read Recombu Digital’s guide to Rural Broadband

Environment Minister, Richard Benyon, said: “Rural broadband is crucial to getting the economy moving and businesses growing. Funding is still available and I don’t want communities to miss out on this great opportunity. Superfast broadband is transforming the lives of rural businesses and communities by helping them tap into new markets, get better exposure and save time in their working day.”

This deadline extension is great news but it will also undoubtedly add more time onto regional projects that are in procurement. The government had initially hoped that superfast fast broadband projects would all be completed by 2015, in time for the next election, but that’s looking increasingly unlikely.

Image credit: MarilynJane

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