Somerset locals running out of time to have their say on broadband

Wednesday, October 26th 2011
Broadband surveys aimed at businesses and residents in North Somerset will close at the end of October.
Somerset locals running out of time to have their say on broadband
Residents and businesses in North Somerset only have until the end of the month to give their views on the county's super-fast broadband plans.

A joint project from Somerset and Devon county councils secured £31.3 million of funding from the Conservative-led coalition, with the money set to be spent on bringing faster internet connectivity to more than half a million properties.

The local authorities are aiming to deliver minimum broadband speeds of 2Mbps to everyone in the two areas, while at least 85 per cent of premises will receive access to over 20Mbps download capabilities.

In order to ensure the money is spent on improving broadband in the right areas, North Somerset Council launched a survey to assess the current quality of broadband services across the area in a bid to demonstrate to telecoms firms where the highest levels of demand for the technology exist.

Separate polls have been created for businesses and householders, although people who fit into both categories have been invited to complete each the two studies.

The surveys are set to close on Monday (October 31st 2011) at 17:00 GMT, with the results due to be analysed and published in November.

It is believed the rollout will be particularly helpful to the economy in North Somerset, given that around a third of all businesses in the area are based at home.

Council chiefs hope to create an open network that offers broadband at a fair price, with no 'cherry picking' of communities, meaning even isolated villages will not be missed out in the deployment.

"The Devon and Somerset bid is by far the most significant and ambitious programme to be supported by government and would directly assist some 22,500 properties and 1,000 business premises in North Somerset who it is estimated will not otherwise have access to super-fast broadband services by 2015," the local authority remarked.

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