More funding to bring faster broadband speeds
Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet has approved plans to apply for £2 million to bring faster broadband speeds to 96 per cent of homes.
When these plans were on the table we were asked our thoughts on whether the move would bring in the improvements for businesses that the council hope.
The council is set to apply for the cash from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK fund and the cabinet meeting in July heard it will ensure that home users of the internet will be able to download films and access the internet at an instant.
They also heard it will further enhance Telford’s claim to be one of the UK’s fastest growing towns for new businesses.
If the application is successful, the faster broadband speeds could roll-out across the borough as early as Spring 2015.
From our point of view the announcement met with mixed opinions in the office.
On one hand infrastructure needs upgrading so investment is great and Telford and Wrekin Council should proceed with it as there will be benefits.
But on the other hand we are not sure if it is a good way to use tax payers money as Telford and Wrekin and its broadband has been invested in previously.
Telewest, which is now Virgin Media, have already got their own infrastructure in and around Telford and Wrekin and BT Openreach have installed super broadband in the main exchanges in Telford.
It is the digging up of the roads and getting the fibre in that has not been done and questions need to be asked about why BT have not made that move yet.
Faster Broadband Speeds are Good for Business, but Will Business Benefit?
Questions also need to be asked about faster broadband speeds for businesses as it is the businesses that really need it.
The Donnington exchange has been done and homes have the superfast broadband but the nearby Hortonwood Business Park does not. We wonder that if Telford and Wrekin invest in this scheme will they actually be able to achieve all they want?
Ultimately, we hope so. Superfast broadband and faster broadband speeds is seen by the government as a “key driver for enterprise and growth, offering significant benefit for business productivity through the development of new and more efficient business models”. And we agree.
Telford and Wrekin will submit a bid for the balance of funding to the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, although a decision is not expected for several months.
If the bid is unsuccessful, the council will either ask for the amount it is able to match fund or borrow the remaining £800,000. Cabinet moved to approve that borrowing if it is needed.