Shropshire Council announced on 26th January, 2012 that the Government has given £8.2 million to support a plan to bring superfast broadband to more areas of Shropshire. The organisation coordinating the £530 million Government project – BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK) – has given its backing to the county’s plan.
However it could take up to £30 million to provide all homes in Shropshire with the agreed minimum of 2mbps per second and to provide superfast broadband to the majority. Shropshire Council is has also agreed to contribute around £8.2 million in match-funding to the project. Full details can be found on the Council’s website here.
The Connecting Shropshire project is also asking residents to complete a 3 minute survey to help them with access the need. There are links to both the residential and business surveys from the top of this page.
The Council list the following problems with broadband availability in the county:
- 11% of premises in Shropshire have no access to line-based broadband services
- More than a third of premises (36%) have limited broadband speeds of 2mbps or less.
- Over a quarter of premises are further than 2.5km from their exchange.
- According to a recent OFCOM report, Shropshire is one of the worst-ranking local authorities in the UK when it comes to broadband. Out of 200 authority areas, Shropshire is one of just 26 to receive the lowest overall score.
- Demand for broadband is high – take-up currently stands at 67% of households.
- 12.3% of the working age population in Shropshire is self-employed (above the 9% national average).
- There are thought to be more than 9,000 home-based businesses in Shropshire – many of these are located in rural areas.
Whilst residents in Hodnet village enjoy speeds of over 4mbps, in other parts of the Parish speeds are far slower. Some residents have to struggle with the worst possible speeds with the estimated maximum being no more than 0.125mbps!
Helping to improve Internet speeds for those who live in the slowest areas will no doubt also improve them for those who are better connected. Even if your connection meets your need, please help those who are not as fortunate and complete the survey if you have not done so already.