Over 5,000 Nottinghamshire residents and businesses have now pledged in Nottinghamshire County Council’s campaign for better internet speeds in the County’s many broadband “slow spots”.
The aim of the Superfast Broadband for Notts campaign was to collect at least 5,000 pledges, along with people’s postcodes and details of their current internet speeds. The information will be used to lobby the telecoms companies to prioritise the upgrading of the county’s broadband infrastructure.
The 5000th pledger was Colin Paul who lives in Cropwell Bishop. He says: “Everyone in Cropwell Bishop complains about slow broadband. I personally get very frustrated with it. I like to check the late news on the BBC but by the time I’ve downloaded it, it’s history!
“My wife is involved in the local gardening club and tries to use the internet to circulate news to the members, but the whole process can take ages. She could do so much more with reliable email and faster downloading and uploading.
“We’re retired, but it’s the young people I feel sorry for. If they want to watch a film there are not many buses from this village to cinemas, but they can’t watch films online either, so they are doubly disadvantaged because they live in a rural area.”
Nottinghamshire County Councillor Keith Girling, chairman of the Council’s economic development committee, said: “I’m pleased we’ve reached the 5,000 pledge target but would encourage anyone else who is frustrated with poor broadband and still hasn’t pledged, to still do so. The more evidence we have of the strength of feeling here, the sooner we’ll see work starting on rural broadband upgrades.”
The next stage in the Local Broadband Plan is to get the go ahead from the government to go out to tender for the broadband infrastructure upgrade work. The Council will then be able to enter a procurement contract with the winning telecoms company with a view to getting work started late in 2013.
It was estimated last year that around 116,000 homes and business in the County are situated in areas where there are currently no plans for upgrade work by the telecoms companies. That means all these premises were at risk of languishing in the broadband slow lane for many years to come.
The Council’s plan is that at least 90% of these premises will now get access to superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps, as soon as possible.
The remaining 10% of properties, which are so remote or geologically complicated that fibre optic broadband is still not feasible, will get access to speeds of a minimum 2 Mbps, hopefully faster, via other technologies such as satellite.
Once the infrastructure work is complete, it will be up to individuals what sort of broadband package they want to purchase from a range of Internet Service Providers.
Further information about the Superfast Broadband for Notts campaign is available at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/broadband