Local MP Bill Wiggin has welcomed news that the Government has received state aid clearance for its £530 million rural broadband programme.

The European Union’s decision, which was confirmed on Tuesday 20th November, followed the direct intervention of Culture Secretary Maria Miller.

Local authorities in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire can now begin delivery work on their new infrastructure projects. The programme, under BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK), forms part of the Coalition’s commitment to put in place the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015.

Speaking shortly afterwards Bill commented,

‘This is fantastic news for Herefordshire.

We live in the 21st century and superfast broadband is essential for creating local growth, jobs and prosperity.

Another barrier preventing rural areas from having the best technology has been overcome. The Government is determined to end that digital divide by helping connect 90 per cent of homes to superfast broadband and ensuring the rest have access to at least 2Mbps.

State aid approval means the roll-out can finally begin. From here on in it must be full speed ahead.’