Published: 31st Jul 2013
Residents of Ludlow have started a petition that calls for broadband connections in the area to be improved.
It has been created by the group South-West Shropshire and Marches Campaign for Better Broadband, the Ludlow and Tenbury Wells Advertiser reports.
Rick Harrowing, a freelance technical author who lives in the area, told the newspaper: "This is an issue that’s affecting people's livelihoods right now.
"Our campaign group hopes that more than 1,000 people will sign the petition because at that point Shropshire Council is obliged to debate the subject."
The group hopes it can convince Shropshire Council to prioritise rural areas in the rollout of improved broadband services, as was as resolving the confusion that currently surrounds properties on the England-Wales border, which are often served by a telephone exchange on the other side.
While the residents of Ludlow are hopeful their petition will attract enough votes to persuade the council to take action, this is far from guaranteed.
Indeed, a similar situation has occurred in Kent where people living in the A25 corridor were told their campaigns for faster broadband were likely to have little impact on the local council's decision regarding the areas where connections will be improved.
According to the Westerham Chronicle, Kent County Council's cabinet member for economic development Mark Dance said the issue of broadband is "not a popularity contest" and locations will be selected for an improved service based on an engineering perspective.
Michael Stokes, a parish councillor in Sundridge and prominent broadband campaigner, expressed his disappointment at the councillor's comments.
"If we have been wasting our time getting people to sign the petition it would be a disgrace," he commented.
However, relying on local councils to improve internet access is the not the only option for people living in areas such as Ludlow and the A24 corridor.
Satellite broadband is available now and can provide speeds of up to 20 Mbps regardless of whether it is located in a large city or remote rural village.
Posted by Mark Wynn
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