Big push for net gains
By Duncan Ross - Issue 2
Better broadband will be coming to Shropshire – but only with your help, after an online petition has been launched to bring extra pressure to bear
Shropshire businesses are being urged to give a “big push” to a campaign to bring faster broadband to the county.
The Connecting Shropshire campaign aims to help every property have access to the industry minimum standard of broadband by the end of 2015, with as many as possible having access to superfast broadband.
Campaigners have been encouraging people to complete a short survey to prove to the private sector that there is demand for better broadband in Shropshire, with more demand likely to bring more external investment.
Shropshire Council and the Government’s broadband delivery arm, BDUK, have already invested about £8 million each, and further investment from the private sector will really help get the best possible solution for Shropshire.
More than 6,000 people have added their support to the campaign by filling in the survey, and there is now there is now a further opportunity for people to make a difference.
Campaigners are hoping to gather more support by using a new, shorter petition, which takes less than a minute to complete. The petition is less detailed than the original survey, as the project now has enough detailed responses. If you have done the original survey there’s no need to do the new one too.
Councillor Martin Taylor-Smith, Shropshire Council cabinet member for IT, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported the campaign so far. This petition isn’t intended as a replacement to the survey which has been running for the past couple of months, and if you have done that you don’t need to register again. This is a short, sharp, big push so if you haven’t had chance to do the survey we hope you can find the time to do this shorter version.
“It will take less than a minute, and every extra postcode we get will really help persuade the private sector that Shropshire needs investment to improve our broadband provision. Having a fast, reliable internet connection is absolutely vital for our county and I would urge everyone to take a moment to add their support.”
Among the businesses to have added their support is Hopton House bed and breakfast in south Shropshire. Proprietor Karen Thorne has written a blog on the Connecting Shropshire website about the importance of broadband to rural businesses.
Karen said: “As B&Bs, we have more competition than ever before. We’re not just competing with the B&B down the road, but with B&Bs in Rome and New York. Guests have more choice than they’ve ever had. So it’s important for us to stay on top of marketing and that requires speedy, reliable broadband.”
♦ Complete the petition on the website at www.connectingshropshire.co.uk. You can also register by calling the council on 0345 678 9000 or going to your local library or Broadplace.