Newsletter — March 2012

In this month’s update:

Local Broadband Plan is approved – and the money is in place

Events in your area – come along to find out more

Why we need you to complete our surveys

Become a Local Broadband Champion

Parish Councils

Local Broadband Plan is approved – and the money is in place

Faster broadband for our villages and parishes has moved a step closer with the Government approval of our Local Broadband Plan and the agreement by the Local Authorities to match-fund the £4.07m that the Government has made available for Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire, giving £8.14m in total to be spent on direct delivery of improved infrastructure.  By far the largest slice of this money, just over £8m, will be spent in Warwickshire.

We are now working towards the procurement stage of the project where we will be going out to tender and this will probably take place in the late summer of this year, with a contractor to be appointed in December.  The contractor will become a project partner and will also be expected to invest significant sums in the project, which it is why it is so important that we are able to show a high level of demand – those areas showing the greatest demand are likely to be prioritised over places where there is no demand at all.

We are not specifying any particular technologies – simply that the solution must achieve our targets of 100% coverage at a minimum of 2Mbps and 90% at superfast speeds (over 24Mbps). As a rough guide, 2Mbps will allow you to watch BBC iPlayer without the “wheel” going round or to shop on-line, whereas 24Mbps allows you to use Skype to make video calls and enables other services such as films on demand and the provision of telecare and telehealth

Events in your area – come along to find out more

We will be holding events in each of the Boroughs/Districts throughout the project. The first events to help you to find out more about how superfast broadband will be provided in your area, and how you can get involved are detailed below. More are planned in the autumn

Tuesday 1st May 2012 Trinity Church,Coleshill Road, Atherstone From 7pm to 8:30pm
Wednesday 16th May 2012 Council Chamber, Elizabeth House, Stratford-Upon-Avon From 7pm to 8:30pm
Tuesday 22nd May 2012 Committee Room 2,Shire Hall, Warwick From 7pm to 8:30pm

Why we need you to complete our surveys

Our private sector partner will not be investing in our project out of the goodness of their heart – they will expect to see a return on their investment. We have prepared two surveys (one for businesses and one for residents) which ask the specific questions that providers will need to have answered in order to make informed investment decisions – these are largely around how you would use the service and where you are located. If you have not already done so, please complete the broadband surveys that are located at www.cswbroadband.org.uk . If you run a business or work from home please complete both surveys – just because a building doesn’t have a sign over the door doesn’t mean that there is no business activity going on inside.  Please encourage your neighbours to do the same, because the more people who respond from a given area, the higher priority it will receive!

We recognise that if you have very poor broadband you may not be able to complete an on-line surveys so we are getting paper copies printed and these will be available from either your local Broadband Champion or your Parish Council – please see below.

In some areas people have already been asked to complete surveys for the local council or may have written letters of support. Whilst we will be given the data from those surveys they do not capture all of the information that is essential for this project, and so we would ask that you complete the project surveys as detailed above.

Become a Local Broadband Champion

We need to take this campaign right to the heart of our local communities and to do this we are recruiting local Broadband Champions. The role might include:

  • Putting posters up on local notice boards
  • Delivering flyers to households
  • Providing hard copies of the surveys to those who are unable to access them on-line
  • Delivering presentations to local groups about the project (but only if you feel comfortable with this!)

All materials will be provided and we are currently awaiting delivery of posters, flyers, postcards, questionnaires and other materials.

YOUR ASSISTANCE COULD MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE TO YOUR AREA GETTING SUPERFAST BROADBAND!!

To express an interest in becoming a Broadband Community Champion, please send your name, address (including postcode) and telephone number by email to: broadband@warwickshire.gov.uk

For more information about being a Champion please visit: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/downloads-resources/for-community-champions/

Parish Councils

Parish Councils hold a particular place in rural communities and there are a number of ways in which you can help:

  • Become Champions, or work with your local Champions
  • Publicise the project in your parish magazine/newsletter (we can provide regular copy for this)
  • Hold a parish meeting to explain the project (we can provide materials for this)
  • Deliver information and questionnaires to every household
  • Offer an incentive for people to complete their questionnaires – high levels of return have been noted in areas where a prize draw is offered, say £50 first prize, £30 second prize and £20 third prize to be drawn from all questionnaires completed electronically / on-line by a certain date
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