Published: February 2, 2012
Burnham residents urged to join campaign for faster broadband

A major project that aims to bring super-fast broadband Internet to Somerset is calling on Burnham-On-Sea residents to add their voices calling for the new technology.

The group 'Connecting Devon and Somerset' has issued a call to arms, appealing to Burnham residents and businesses to help them secure super-fast broadband for the region.

The project is a collaboration between Somerset County Council and Devon County Council alongside North Somerset Council, Plymouth City Council and Torbay Council.

It aims to provide 100% broadband coverage of 2Mbps with a minimum of 85% superfast broadband at 24Mbps by 2015 and superfast broadband for all by 2020.

The campaign is asking residents to complete a survey about their current online activity. Questions are about current broadband speeds, what you would be prepared to pay and what faster speeds will mean to you.

The councils need at least 10,000 responses across the region.

The project secured £31 million of funding from the government agency Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) last year and both Somerset and Devon County Councils will be putting in up to £10 million each.

Councillor David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Economic Development, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "We need everyone to get behind us on this. Although we have up to £51 million already, we must secure further investment from the private sector. To do this we need to provide evidence that there is a strong demand for superfast broadband. It is the only way we will reach many rural areas and market towns."

"It really is a call to arms. If we don’t have the evidence, we can’t convince commercial suppliers to go into partnership with us. This has real implications for economic growth and the competitiveness of our businesses as well as our ability to provide services."

According to Ofcom, almost 18% of premises across both counties are getting less than 2 Mbps. In Somerset, just 4% of the county can access superfast broadband. Click here to respond to the online survey.

 


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