"Broadband is emerging as an essential infrastucture which will help unlock the economic potential of our rural businesses. Harborough District, for example, has the second highest concentration of home-based businesses outside London. Through our investment we are committed to ensure we can extend deployment as deep into rural areas as possible."

Mr Blake Pain, LCC Cabinet Lead for Rural Broadband

Improved broadband connectivity is essential to support business growth and improve access to services. Without public investment the Digital Divide will increase leaving rural areas in the slow lane.

The County Council is in the process of contracting a supplier to deliver next generation broadband to at least 90% of Leicestershire premises. Initial connections will go live in summer 2014 and the deployment will conclude in autumn 2016.

The Leicestershire Rural Partnership will help to increase demand for next generation fibre broadband and support the development of community-led schemes which will extend coverage to remote rural businesses and premises.

There are excellent example of communities who have delivered local solutions, including Belvoir Networking and the Buckminster Estate.