Nottinghamshire County Council and its partners recognise that broadband penetration is clearly not distributed uniformly, either geographically or demographically across Nottinghamshire and rural communities suffer the most. The Superfast Broadband for Nottinghamshire project concentrates on the 77,732 premises that are unaffected by the private sector's superfast broadband roll-out plans and will ensure these poorly broadband served areas of Nottinghamshire are not left behind in the ever growing 'digital divide'.
The current take-up of internet/broadband amongst households in Nottinghamshire is estimated by Point-Topic Ltd to be 57.7%. The highest level of take-up is in Ashfield District Council (60%), the lowest being in Newark & Sherwood and Rushcliffe Districts (55% respectively).
As the districts of Bassetlaw, Newark & Sherwood and Rushcliffe have the lowest levels of broadband speed availability, it is hoped that they will be targeted as phase one of the Local Broadband Plan. However, the technical detail of the solution ultimately adopted will be decided during the procurement process.
For clarification, the Superfast Broadband for Nottinghamshire project will be funding a private sector telecommunications provider to build, own and operate an ‘open network’ to provide competitive services to users. As indicated above, this will involve securing a significant financial contribution from the contracted telecommunications provider. This provider will be procured to deliver a network that meets local needs in terms of coverage, actual upload and download speeds, reliability, quality and cost to the end user.
It is envisaged that the County Council will use its expertise of working with communities to work with the commercial provider(s) on targeting appropriate demand stimulation exercises and awareness-raising programmes to different areas of the county and to differing population groups.
Support for Nottinghamshire’s rural communities
Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) is the national umbrella body of the Rural Community Action Network (RCAN), which operates at national, regional and local level in support of rural communities across the country. The Rural Community Action Network is the collective name for the 37 Rural Community Action Network members throughout England, their eight regional bodies and their national umbrella body, ACRE. Rural Community Action Network members are charitable local development agencies, generally based at county level, which support and enable initiatives in rural communities. The Nottinghamshire based local member is Rural Community Action Nottinghamshire.
The Rural Broadband Partnership aims to provide a national resource for individuals, communities, suppliers and government bodies that would encourage and promote the roll-out of broadband in areas of traditional market failure and in so doing bring a close to the digital divide.
The Beyond Broadband Project has been set up by INCA, the Plunkett Foundation and ACRE to support the development of local next generation broadband schemes.
Securing the legacy of Race OnLine 2012 – Go ON Give an Hour – the mechanism that the Race Online 2012 team has developed to inspire a million digital champions to get active in their communities.
IT Community Champions is a project run by Rural Community Action Nottinghamshire, targeted at people aged 50+ living in Nottinghamshire. The aim of the scheme is to find people aged 50+ with an interest in IT and offer them the skills and support to train other individuals or groups wishing to learn new computer skills enabling access to greater independence, increased confidence and self esteem and greater opportunities.
Awards for All England is a simple grant scheme making awards of between £300 and £10,000. The Awards for All programme aims to help improve local communities and the lives of people most in need.
The Reaching Communities programme has two strands: 1) Reaching Communities revenue and small capital - funding from £10,000 to £500,000 for revenue projects and/or small capital projects up to £50,000, and; 2) Reaching Communities buildings - funding between £100,000 and £500,000 for large capital projects.
Broadband Genie is a free-to-use, broadband consumer advice website. It's been going since 2003 and regularly features in the national media as an independent consumer spokesperson on broadband.
Residents and community benefits
Having access to fast broadband allows individuals, families and communities to make use of opportunities that aren’t otherwise possible. A broadband connection is always live; there’s no waiting for dial up connectivity, freeing up your telephone line, and broadband can be cheaper than pay-as-you-go dial-up.
- Being able to send and receive much more information faster. You can access the internet, browse the web more effectively, download files faster, and send and receive emails quicker
- Multiple devices can connect through superfast broadband at the same time. You can share your internet connections across several computers or other devices for simultaneous use. You can have different family members online around your house doing their own thing online
- You can watch movies and TV shows online when you want them, you can stream HD and 3D films to your TV in a couple of minutes, download entire music albums in seconds, download games and play them online, download e-books, save and share photos and videos, and do your shopping
- Keep in touch with families and friends through web-chats, pc to pc phone calls, or using social media websites such as Facebook or Twitter
- Learn new skills or gain a qualification online, support your children’s learning, find educational materials and sites for them to use
- Work from home, cutting down on commuting time and costs, allowing for more flexible working and improved work life balance. Access to virtual working opportunities
- Accessing local and national services online, cheaper utilities, online banking, applications and form-filling, and much more freedom of choice
- Easier to find out what’s happening locally and get involved
- Community groups can send out e-newsletters, saving on printing and postage costs, complete online funding applications, do more publicity and improve their website.