Newsletter — February 2012

Things are moving ahead quickly for the project!

This update seeks to provide the latest news – and on how you can get involved.

Funding

The Government is making £4.07m available forCoventry,Solihulland Warwickshire. There is a requirement that this amount should be match-funded from Local Authority capital funds, and this funding is expected to be confirmed by the end of February. The breakdown is: Warwickshire £3 million, Coventry £27,000, Solihull £27,000 with the remaining £ million being matched by the Warwickshire Boroughs and Districts

Ambition

The Government ambition is to provide a minimum of 2Mbps broadband to all homes and superfast broadband to 90% of people by 2015. Superfast broadband has been clarified to mean at least 24Mbps. Coming behind this is an EU requirement that by 2020, fast broadband coverage at 30Mbps should be available to all EU citizens, with at least half European households subscribing to broadband access at 100Mbps. Clearly this is a significant uplift, coming just a short time after the UK targets and this will have implications for the Local Broadband Plan.

Progress

Our draft Local Broadband Plan has been submitted to Government and we are awaiting approval of this. In the meantime work is continuing to gather the data required to enable us to go to procurement, which is expected to start this summer.

What can you do to help?

Complete our survey

If you have not already done so please complete the broadband survey that is located at http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/ – there is one survey for domestic use and one for business use, so if you run a business or work from home please do both – and encourage your neighbours to do it as well because the more people that respond from a given area the higher priority it will be.

How close can fibre get to your property?

A (usually) simple way to improve broadband speeds is to put fibre to the BT cabinet. This is a green box by the side of the road which provides telecoms to a village or group of properties. We need to map the exact locations of these boxes so that we can establish what benefits might be gained from this type of upgrade.

Please register the location of your BT cabinet and any others you may come across. You can do this at http://4sfb.crowdmap.com/ and there is also an App for iPhone or Android so that you can do it whilst you are out and about!

Become a Champion

Could you help to bring faster broadband services to your local area? We are looking for Community Champions to help us to get our message out to rural communities. The role will include:

  • Putting posters up on local noticeboards
  • 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 material will be provided through the project website and in hard copy (it is currently being prepared and as soon as we know that the money is all in place we will start the print runs)

To express an interest in becoming a Champion, please email your name, address (with postcode) and telephone number to broadband@warwickshire.gov.uk 

Your assistance could make all the difference to your village getting superfast broadband!

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