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MEP pressure helps unlock money for rural broadband across South East

A superfast broadband scheme has been given the green light by the European Commission, following pressure from Catherine Bearder MEP.

key_mousenotanimal.pngWork to start laying cable can start which will mean improved internet speeds to homes and businesses based in the countryside. You can find out how much each area will get in the list below.

In July, Catherine urged the commission to free up the money amid fears delays to the scheme were starting to damage companies.

She said: "Superfast broadband is crucial to build a strong economy, where everyone has the opportunity to make a success of their business.

"This will create jobs and growth for the South East and ensure we can compete fairly with the big cities.

"It is also very important for local and national government to deliver public services effectively online and to going about our everyday lives.

"For too long, our area has missed out on investment in broadband.

"I have always been clear we must not miss out on the digital age and I will be working with the Coalition Government and our local authority to ensure we deliver superfast broadband as soon as possible."

The European Commission permission was needed because the project was partially state-aided.

What it means for each area:

- Surrey - £1.3m

- Kent and Medway - £9.9m

- Hampshire - £5m

- Buckinghamshire - £3m

- West Sussex - £6.2m

- East Sussex and Brighton - £10.6m

- Isle of Wight - £3.1m

- Berkshire - £1.4m

- Oxfordshire - £3.7m

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