Gloucestershire councillor calls for more broadband information header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

Residents of rural Gloucestershire should be more informed about when they are likely to receive super-fast broadband. 

This is according to Paul Hodgkinson, Gloucestershire county councillor for Bourton and Northleach, who has criticised the lack of information currently available, this is Gloucestershire reports. 

The £57 million Fastershire project to bring super-fast broadband to the county is currently underway, but Mr Hodgkinson believes local residents and businesses need to know more about when they can expect to see an improved service.

"Fast broadband is such an important issue and it is of huge importance to people in rural areas in particular where they have slower broadband speeds," he stated.

"Why is it just group leaders who will have this information? What I am asking is for this information to not only be shared with group leaders, but with all councillors and members of the public."

The Fastershire project aims to connect 90 per cent of homes and businesses in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire to super-fast broadband. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

A similar scheme is taking place in Berkshire, where the Superfast Berkshire initiative is attempting to bring improved connectivity to 91 per cent of premises. However, the project has been criticised, as it has been revealed only 79 per cent of West Berkshire will benefit, Newbury Today reports. 

Some of the county's most rural and remote communities are based in this area and the parish councillor for East Ilsley Andrew Sharp has accused BT and Berkshire County Council of focusing solely on commercial gains. 

In response to these concerns, West Berkshire parliamentary spokeswoman for the Liberal Democrats Judith Bunting has arranged a meeting with communications minister Ed Vaizey to discuss the issue.

Waiting for the BT and government rollout of super-fast broadband is not the only option for people who want to improve their connectivity. Satellite broadband is available immediately, can provide speeds of up to 20 Mbps and is ideally suited to remote and rural locations.