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Superfast broadband will be available to businesses working in a region’s main employment areas after a council struck a deal with a Kent-based internet service provider.
Shepway District Council has signed a three-year deal with Maidstone-based Custodian Data Centre to give high-speed connections to companies in key employment sites.
Companies will be able to access up to 100 megabytes per second from a large aerial being installed on the civic centre roof in Folkestone.
The council believes the cost of introducing and maintaining the connection will be met out of income from interested businesses.
Superfast broadband is already being made available in some rural Shepway areas, including Dungeness, Lydd, Lympne and Stanford, in a project with internet provider Call Flow Solutions.
Shepway council cabinet member for the district economy Alan Clifton-Holt said: “The contract we have signed with Custodian shows the strength of Shepway Council’s commitment to generating new business for the district.
“Businesses at our main employment sites have told us that this will give them a competitive edge, enabling them to secure more business, recruit more people and work more cost-effectively.
“It is vital for firms to be competitive and we want to make that happen. This investment supports our ambition of being ‘Kent’s Connected Coast’: for culture, for business and for growth opportunities.”
Custodian Data Centre chairman Geoff Miles – who is also on the Shepway Business Advisory Board – said: “Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh are in pole position to benefit from any upturn in the economy.
“The area has outstanding transport links, with High Speed 1, the Channel Tunnel and motorways, and businesses will soon benefit from the fastest internet capability of anywhere in the UK.
“It’s a great place to live because of its proximity to sea and countryside, and a growing reputation for top quality arts, entertainment and places to eat; we now need to ensure that it’s also recognised as one of the best places to do business.
“We are determined to do all we can to see that businesses have the best chance of success.”
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