A BROADBAND boost has come to businesses in a rural area of Bucks as the first part of a plan to speed up internet connections across the county.

A green roadside cabinet in Butlers Cross was the first to go live as part of the Connected Counties high speed fibre broadband programme.

Serving around 200 of the 800 residents in Butlers Cross and Ellesborough, the roadside cabinet is one of more than 180 in Bucks due to be upgraded to fibre broadband in the next couple of years under the initiative, to serve 38,500 homes and businesses not due for connection by commercial providers.

Buckinghamshire County Council Leader Martin Tett, has led the campaign for superfast broadband as a means of developing strong businesses across the county.

He said: "In the 21st century access to high quality, high speed broadband is essential for companies. We're determined that in Buckinghamshire we'll make this available, so that we're in the forefront for all our businesses."

One business leader delighted at the speed boost is Myles Hick, Director of international security company, Avtel, based at Butlers Cross.

He said: "Currently we communicate with our customers on video conferencing and I often have to travel to the customer to undertake these meetings because my broadband is too slow.

"Fibre broadband will really open up our ability to truly connect with our staff and customers, reduce the need for travel and cut the CO2 emissions of the business. Win-win."

The £18.06 million Connected Counties high speed fibre broadband programme for Bucks and Hertfordshire started last June.

It was then that BCC, neighbouring Hertfordshire, the two Local Enterprise Partnerships, and the Government's Broadband Delivery UK signed a contract with BT to provide high speed fibre broadband to these areas.

Butlers Cross marked the start of a plan to upgrade more than 30 roadside cabinets in Buckinghamshire - many in rural areas.

Guy Lachlan, Board Member of Buckinghamshire and Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership said: "We lead the country with the number of small businesses in Buckinghamshire and it's important to provide the right technology to help them stay ahead of the game. This is another fantastic step forward in giving them the superfast broadband they need to be out at the front."