Shropshire Council urges local support for broadband plans

Thursday, June 30th 2011
The local authority has launched a survey aimed at discovering which parts of the county have poor broadband coverage.
Shropshire Council urges local support for broadband plans
Residents and businesses in Shropshire are being urged to play their part in bringing super-fast broadband to the county by illustrating their demand for the technology.

Shropshire Council is one of 18 local authorities bidding for a chunk of the £530 million earmarked by the government to spend on improving internet speeds in areas that are outside the reach of the private sector.

In order to support this application, a survey has been launched by the council in a bid to identify current levels of broadband coverage, as well as local desire for future broadband access.

Business leaders were also urged to get behind the campaign at a meeting on Monday (June 27th 2011).

Under the administration's plans, every property in Shropshire will be connected to an affordable broadband service by 2015.

Martin Taylor-Smith, cabinet member for IT at Shropshire Council, insisted it is "essential" that residents demonstrate how much desire there is across the county for access to super-fast broadband.

"Improving broadband speeds in rural parts of the county will be a massive benefit to both businesses and residents in those areas," he commented. "I would urge as many people as possible to get involved by filling in this survey on the website, which should be accessible with a dial-up internet connection."

Earlier this month, the council met to discuss a report measuring the progress it has made towards achieving its goals for improved internet services.

Although it lost out to Devon and Somerset, Norfolk and Wiltshire in the latest government broadband funding announcement, the county is hopeful of being included in the next round.

Mr Taylor-Smith has previously said a share of the £530 million would be "incredibly helpful" in the authority's quest for universal broadband services.

The councillor added he is "excited" at the prospect of making a difference to the day-to-day life of people in rural parts of Shropshire.

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Comments (1)

11th July 2011
There are practical difficulties in rural area's in trying to energise people to support this initiative even though they desire increased speed. Perhaps you could persuade Parish Councils to start the process of support throughout their communities. George Reeves.
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