Harborough leading Leicestershire broadband campaign

Tuesday, April 24th 2012
Almost 1,300 people in the Harborough area have backed Leicestershire's broadband strategy by completing a questionnaire.
Harborough leading Leicestershire broadband campaign
Residents and businesses in the Harborough district of Leicestershire are the driving force behind a county-wide super-fast broadband campaign.

Leicestershire County Council (LCC) is looking for people to fill in an online survey that aims to investigate current levels of broadband connectivity in the area.

It is hoped that the questionnaire will identify the communities most in need of broadband upgrades and will encourage a private sector communications provider to invest in the project.

According to the Harborough Mail, just under 1,300 people from the Harborough area have so far supported the campaign by completing the survey, compared to just 51 in the city of Leicester, less than 200 in Blaby and only four in Rutland.

In total, 3,012 residents have so far taken the time to answer the council's broadband questions, with 404 of these responses coming from businesses.

"You can really see the difference in the Harborough area," an LCC spokesman said.

However, residents have been urged not to rest on their laurels, as the deadline for the survey is at the end of April and the council needs more people to get involved.

LCC is running the initiative as part of its next-generation broadband strategy, which has attracted £3 million of government funding and £4 million from the local authority's own budget.

A further £300,000 has been allocated to improve broadband access in the most rural locations.

Estimates suggest that around 190,000 Leicestershire residents live in areas that will not benefit from private sector broadband network upgrades.

These communities primarily include parts of Harborough, Melton, and Hinckley & Bosworth, while several broadband slowspots with speeds of less than 2Mbps can also be found across the county.

LCC is aiming to deliver super-fast broadband connectivity to every home and business in the county by 2017, with an initial goal of reaching 90 per cent of properties by 2015.

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