Thursday, 18 August 2011

Warwickshire Set For Superfast Broadband

By Ben Aulakh

People in Warwickshire could soon be surfing the net at super-fast speeds thanks to the council getting its share of a £4 million grant from the government, to improve internet access to 120, 000 premises across the Midlands region.

Warwickshire County Council, in partnership with Coventry City Council, Solihull Borough Council and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership will oversee the integration of rural areas into the already planned superfast broadband networks.

Cllr Alan Cockburn portfolio holder for sustainable communities at Warwickshire County Council and member of the local enterprise partnership board said, “This will bring massive benefits to the whole economy of the region.

“It will especially benefit our more rural areas, which are currently at a disadvantage because of not being able to use everyday technologies.”

The improvements should also provide a better education platform with schools set to benefit from faster connections, as well as helping adults gain new skills online..

Rural areas throughout England and Scotland will receive £363m of a £530m pot, raised by the license fee, to improve broadband connections, making them quicker and more reliable than the current service.

At the moment an internet connection can be sourced from either British Telecom, Virgin Media, or via mobile phones enabled with 3G technology.

The council are encouraging anyone who is unsure about the current speed of their connection to check it at one of the sites listed on their website.

Cllr Cockburn added that “Superfast broadband will also help councils provide a wider range of improved services.

“A stronger digital structure will help to modernise libraries by giving the option of downloading e-books direct to computers; it will offer more convenient ways of accessing services and paying bills.

The council also say that fast broadband internet is essential for regeneration, and they hope the planned improvements will make Warwickshire the destination of business choice for the future.

The scheme is just one part of a national commitment by government to provide speeds of at least two megabytes per second across the entire country by 2015.

Further information on the implications for superfast broadband in the region can be found at http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/superfastbroadband.

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