THE county’s much-maligned broadband access could be set for a six million pound boost.

Herefordshire Council’s cabinet is behind a plan to include the impressive figure in its 2012/13 budget which will be put before all county councillors early next month.

The funding will, if passed, be matched against Government money already allocated to the county as part of Borders Broadband, one of four UK pilots to improve broadband delivery in rural areas.

Broadband champion for Herefordshire, Councillor Graham Powell, said: "The Council’s investment in broadband is an investment in the long term future of Herefordshire.

"Broadband is the 21st century utility that has the ability to improve many facets of our everyday life and businesses need fast broadband to access global markets and global suppliers - it is not acceptable for those who live in our rural communities to be left behind."

A major funding contribution is also expected from a yet-to-be-selected company which will be contracted to design, build and maintain the broadband network.

The Government’s minimum ‘acceptable’ broadband level of two megabits per second is not available to almost one in four Herefordshire households.

The funding idea will be discussed at full council on February 3.