17 Aug 2011

Superfast Broadband: a reliable connection would be a start

Over a year ago I called for better Broadband in the district - see here and here - since then Neil Carmichael and others have also made calls. Indeed for some years, people have been saying how dire our service is here. There have been news reports about improvements to the exchange in Painswick and hopes in Nailsworth.... a map highlighting rural broadband here shows 70% take up of broadband in Gloucestershire with only 35% with superfast availability.

Certainly we've not seen any of that superfast or even slightly fast here. Infact I still face a dodgy slow line that drops the connection every now and then.

The Guardian reported at the weekend that "High-speed internet access soon to include broadband-starved communities as government unveils £530m fund". This is to get us all to a minimum speed of 2Mbps within 4 years.  That would be more than double what I get now. If all goes to plan, 90% of homes will also be able to get even faster speeds of over 24Mbps. But can this money help reach the third or more households who have not access to the superfast broadband?

Broadband expert Ian Watt, quoted in The Guardian article, believes the government funds will only get broadband to three-quarters of homes. "It's more likely that high-speed broadband will be available to the centre of the village, for example to a school, library or post office. We don't see the subsidy being enough to get it to everyone."

So where to now? Well Neil Carmichael MP in a recent column in the press asked folk to email him re their broadband. Please do. I emailed some time ago - we'll have to see if it makes a difference.

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