Survey on where superfast broadband should go
Published 8 Mar 2013 12:30 0 Comments
RESIDENTS and businesses in Berkshire are being invited to have their say on where superfast broadband should be introduced across the county.
Superfast broadband (defined as internet speeds of more than 24 megabits per second) is already being expanded by commercial providers but it is estimated that 47,000 business and domestic premises - most in rural areas - would remain without it in three years' time unless action is taken.
That is why the Superfast Berkshire project - consisting of the county's six unitary authorities plus some parish councils - is aiming to make sure 90% have access, through investing almost £3m in improving infrastructure.
A public consultation exercise, launched last Wednesday, is seeking views of residents, communities, businesses and broadband providers regarding the geographical areas to be covered.
Colin Batchelor, Superfast Berkshire project manager, said: "This consultation is key to finalising the plan that, in tandem with commercial providers, will roll-out superfast broadband to the vast majority of premises in Berkshire."
Following analysis of the consultation results, it is planned that a contract for the Superfast Berkshire project can be awarded this summer, with work on improving technology networks due to begin later this year.
The Government, as part of a nationwide initiative, has pledged £1.43m for the project, with this sum being matched by local councils.
The project aims to provide superfast broadband to 90% of Berkshire premises by 2015, with the remaining 10% 'hard to reach' premises having access to speeds of at least 2Mbps.
It is estimated that superfast broadband will create 17,000 jobs in the Thames Valley in about five years' time, including 2,254 in Bracknell Forest and 2,450 in Wokingham borough.
To take part in the superfast broadband consultation, visit www.superfastberkshire.org.uk/consultation
The deadline for comments is March 28.
- Is broadband particularly bad in your area and is it affecting your business? Please let us know below.