Broadband is now an essential part of life for all communities, businesses and individuals. Lack of access to broadband leads to increased social disadvantage and is exacerbated due to the decline of and remoteness from local services in most rural communities.
DEFRA have issued a short film to encourage small businesses to use broadband to help grow their business.
In its 2010 Broadband Strategy The Coalition Government made a commitment to Britain having the best Superfast Broadband network in Europe by 2015. It is estimated that 2/3rds of the population will be served by existing providers upgrading to Next Generation Access (NGA).
However it also acknowledged that particularly for rural areas this would be difficult to achieve using the market alone. This ‘Final Third’ would only be able to benefit from this next generation access by Government intervention through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), a team within DCMS, set up to deliver the Government’s broadband strategy, bringing superfast broadband to all parts of the UK.
BDUK’s main role is to allocate and distribute £530m of funding, the third of UK homes and businesses which won’t be provided for by the broadband market and would otherwise miss out.
Within North Somerset, Bath & North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire the West of England Rural Networks role is to;
- establish working relationship with the local focus of broadband development and promote its contribution to rural sustainability,
- engage at a strategic level with local authorities on the development of local broadband plans and projects and on demand stimulation and pre-registration initiatives,
- promote awareness of broadband issues within communities through Community Led Planning,
- provide communities expressing interest in broadband with independent advice on the most appropriate solution for their locality, or signpost to other sources of support.
You can check your broadband speed and availability using these links;