Prime minister David Cameron has welcomed the arrival of faster broadband in his constituency by "switching on" an Oxfordshire village’s new "Better Broadband" cabinet.
The £25 million Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme, a partnership between Oxfordshire County Council, BT and the government, aims to ensure at least 90 percent of all premises in the county will have access to superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps and above by the end of 2015.
Homes and businesses in the village of Alvescot are among the first in the county to benefit from the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme.
At an event, Cameron attended the arrival of superfast broadband in the village. He said, “The switching on of the first tranche of superfast cabinets marks the start of a remarkable transformation of broadband throughout Oxfordshire.
“The UK already does more business online than any other European country and widespread access to superfast speeds will provide a welcome boost to Oxfordshire’s economy.”
County councillor Ian Hudspeth, leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “The county council is ensuring that Oxfordshire has the capability to prosper economically and be amongst the most attractive places to live in the UK.
“I am really excited to be involved in this switch-on as it means that people in the village can take advantage of faster internet speeds and all the benefits that come with it."
The project has been funded by BT putting in £11 million, £10 million coming from Oxfordshire County Council, and £4 million central government funding from the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) organisation.
Last year, the government was accused of mismanaging the rollout of superfast broadband to rural areas, saying it put BT in a “quasi-monopolistic” position as the only bidder in the programme.
A report by MPs on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) claimed that "failings" by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) led to an "anti-competitive" environment, where BT was the only company bidding for over a billion pounds worth of contracts to supply local authorities with high speed broadband.