THE DAYS of tediously slow Internet will soon be a thing of the past as superfast broadband is rolled out to tens of thousands of homes across South Gloucestershire.

Along with Wiltshire Council, the local authority has signed a £35.6 million contract with BT to increase the Internet speeds of 94 percent of houses and business in South Gloucesterhsire by 2016.

The partnership is the latest to be announced under the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, which contributed £4.6 million towards the project.

South Gloucestershire Council has pitched in £2 million, while Wiltshire Council and BT have invested respectively £15.5 million and £12.8 million in the scheme. A further £0.74 million has been provided by the European Regional Development Fund.

As part of the plans, a majority of homes and stores in the region will enjoy speeds above 24Mbps and up to 80Mbps.

Cllr John Goddard, chairman of South Gloucestershire Council’s resources sub-committee, said: "We are delighted to have signed the contract with BT and our partners at Wiltshire Council to bring superfast broadband to thousands of homes and businesses.

"Benefits to firms will include faster file storage, computer back-up and processing for example, while the new technology will transform the way our residents use the internet at home, from speeding up the simple sharing of photos and videos, to enjoying watching films and tv programmes online."

He added: "These improvements will ensure South Gloucestershire continues to be recognised as a great place to live and do business."

A total of 104,000 homes, shops and offices will benefit from the new superfast broadband across South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

Those not included in the scheme will see still their downloading times improve tenfold with the vast majority receiving greater than 2Mbps.

Openreach, BT’s local network division, will start installing the fibre network, which will be open to all communications providers on an equal basis, in autumn.

Fibre-to-the-cabinet, where high-speed fibre cabling is connected to a street cabinet near a user’s home or business, will be the main technology deployed.

Fibre-to-the-premises technology – delivering speeds of up to 330Mbps – will also be deployed in certain areas and will be available on demand throughout the whole of the fibre footprint.