Businesses in Hemel Hempstead’s industrial estate can now enjoy superfast broadband as part of a project to boost net connection speeds across the county.
The first fibre-optic broadband cabinets were installed at the Maylands Business Park in a bid to deliver web connection speeds of up to 80MB a second – which will benefit hundreds of firms based in the area.
Town MP Mike Penning welcomed the upgrade during the launch event on Thursday.
Mr Penning, who joined other stakeholders at the cabinet on the corner of Maylands Avenue and Eaton Road, said:“This is great news.
“It is fantastic that now more than 300 premises in the Maylands Business Park can access fibre broadband, but there is still some way to go.
“It is essential to local businesses and the continuing success of the Business Park that fibre broadband is available.”
The move is part of the Connected Counties partnership between Herts and Bucks county councils, run alongside BT.
It is hoped the superfast broadband will be made available to more than 90 per cent of homes and businesses in the two counties by the end of March 2016.
Around £3.7million of funding for the project has come from Buckinghamshire County Council, with Herts pledging £1.1 million and BT investing a further £8.6 million.
Herts County Council cabinet member for enterprise, education and skills Chris Hayward said: “Improving business broadband speeds has long been an ambition of Hertfordshire County Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership.
“Traditionally, business parks do not always receive fibre-optic broadband as part of commercial rollouts by providers, so the Connected Counties programme’s upgrades are excellent news for businesses based at Maylands Business Park. They will now have access to faster, more reliable broadband, giving them even more opportunities to prosper.”
The Government’s Broadband Delivery UK has also provided a grant of £4.15 million to the scheme, and Local Enterprise Partnerships have also donated.
The rollout operates on a value-for-money basis and in order to ensure the Maylands Business Park upgrade was given a priority, financial help to the tune of £500,000 was secured from the Herts LEP.
Andrew Percival, chairman of the Herts LEP’s infrastructure board, said: “One of the LEP’s key roles is to ensure that Hertfordshire is a great place to do business. Reliable broadband access is an absolute essential for modern businesses looking to grow, and we’re delighted to have been able to support further roll out at Maylands Business Park”.