A new £12.2 million broadband project for the Black Country is aiming to extend the availability of high-speed fibre broadband to 98 per cent of homes and businesses across the area in less than three years.
Engineers from Openreach, BT's local network business, intend to lay new fibre optic cables and upgrade more than 400 road-side cabinets to connect people and businesses to the new fibre broadband network.
The investment in high-speed fibre broadband aims to help businesses across the Black Country to become more competitive and grow in the UK and overseas.
Culture secretary and Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid is joining local councils and partnership organisations the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), BT and the Government's Broadband Delivery UK programme today at a special launch event in Rowley Regis.
Mr Javid said: "Today marks the beginning of an incredible transformation of broadband in the Black Country.
"Government fully appreciates that access to fast and reliable broadband is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity, which is precisely why we are funding projects like this one all over the UK.
"As a result of this £12m investment, 98 per cent of the Black Country will be able to access superfast speeds by 2017 and this will provide a terrific boost to the local economy."
Funding for the programme is made up of £2.9 million from the Broadband Delivery (BDUK), £6.4 million from BT and £2.9 million from the Black Country LEP's Growing Places Fund.
The project will begin with several months of planning and survey work before the first services become available towards the end of 2015.