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June 3 2013.

The roll-out of superfast broadband is one step closer to completion as, according to local MP Norman Baker, a contract has been signed between BT and the county council which will see as much as 99% of the county being able to access fibre broadband.

The Coalition Government announced that by 2015 90% of the country will have broadband coverage, giving Britain the best coverage in Europe and created the £530million rural community broadband fund to achieve that goal. East Sussex County Council benefited considerably from the funding with £10.64million - allowing the county council to roll-out broadband across the county.

This means that, alongside existing fibre broadband roll-out plans:

• 96% of all properties across the e-Sussex' project area will have access to superfast broadband of at least 24mpbs
• 99% of all properties in the county will have access to higher-speed fibre broadband

• Every property in East Sussex will be able to access a broadband service of at least 2mbps

Local residents will benefit from increased coverage speeds for residential use, but it will be rural businesses that will see the biggest benefit. The business benefits of high speed broadband are huge. Businesses can expand their customer base rapidly by selling online, get free marketing and build up brands through social media. Faster speeds also mean that businesses can upload and download large files, graphics and videos in a fraction of the time, and do business anytime and anywhere through virtual offices and networks.

Norman says: "Constituents, particularly in rural areas such as Rodmell, Isfield, and South Chailey, and local businesses are crying out for access to quicker broadband and I am very pleased that we have now made some really tangible progress on delivering this. The Coalition has been clear from the start that we need to ensure that businesses up and down the country can access good quality broadband and I welcome that the council has utilised the funding that the coalition has provided to ensure that we have great local broadband coverage.

"For the average user it can be really infuriating if it takes an age for a file to download, but for businesses that can not only be infuriating, but can hit profits as well. Decent connectivity is crucial in this day and age and superfast broadband will deliver to businesses new opportunities and a much larger customer base which can only be a good thing."