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Boost for broadband in Buckinghamshire planned
PARTS of Buckinghamshire which are currently in the internet dark ages are set for a boost as part of a £16million scheme which will give every part of the county broadband service.
Currently parts of Chalfont St Peter, Chalfont St Giles, Fulmer, Iver Heath and Stoke Poges have no broadband access at all, while there is a limited service in other parts of the villages.
The new scheme, for which the government has now been given European clearance, will mean there will also be a big improvement in the speed of internet connections in the rest of the county.
The news has been welcomed by businesses in the area, who think it will boost trade.
In Chalfont St Giles, Katinka Van Wyk who runs interior design shop Pure Living Company and is a member of the Businesses and Traders for Chalfont St Giles group, said: "The internet connection here isn't very good, and it can really slow things down, so this will be a real help.
"I think people who work from home will benefit the most.
"It could mean that more people set up their own businesses which would be a real boost for trade."
A contract will now be awarded for the laying of new cables around Bucks to provide the service, and it is hoped the new system will be accessible to all in the county by the end of 2014.
The scheme comes in the form of a £16m partnership between Bucks and Hertfordshire County Councils, and was given the green light after the government received European permission to improve broadband speeds across the UK.
Bucks Business First's head of innovation Jim Sims said: "Increasingly we live in a data driven world. More and more businesses not only use but rely on the internet, so this improvement in the county should mean that we see a big increase in productivity.
"There is also scope for people to set up their own online businesses. It will be a real boost for businesses in this county."
Meanwhile Liz Royal, who runs toy shop Activity Chest in Market Place, Chalfont St Peter, said: "I'm not sure that it will make all that much difference to small businesses to be honest.
"I can see that it can help customers if they want to shop online, and I can see that theoretically it can help with promotion and things like that, but in practical terms I don't think it will do all that much."
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