Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Do Your Bit To Get Cambridgeshire Connected



A major campaign launched today, Tuesday May 8, is urging residents and businesses to do their bit to help secure superfast broadband for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Superfast broadband will help boost local businesses and the economy, reduce isolation in rural communities and help improve health and access to services.

Councils from across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough as well as the Government are investing millions of pounds in the Connecting Cambridgeshire project.

But to secure vital support from broadband providers Cambridgeshire and Peterborough needs residents and businesses to simply click and show them we want improved broadband.

The more people that register the fact they want superfast broadband the more chance of it being delivered.

From today, Tuesday, May 8, people can click on the link on the new www.connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk website to show their support.

The major campaign to Get Cambridgeshire Connected with better broadband for homes and businesses will be launched countywide as the website goes live.

Householders and businesses can register their demand for broadband in minutes with just a postcode and landline phone number.

People who do not have access to the internet can register online or on paper forms in libraries, council offices and other public places.

Visitors to the Connecting Cambridgeshire website can also check their broadband speeds, find out about the benefits of broadband for businesses and communities and volunteer to become Digital Champions for their local areas.

Designed to be easy to use, the website will develop as the main source of information about the project with links to partners' sites, and regular updates about the campaign, which can be followed using Twitter and Facebook.

The Connecting Cambridgeshire project is being led by Cambridgeshire County Council in partnership with Peterborough City Council, District Councils and partners in business, health and education.

The aim is to bring access to superfast broadband to at least 90% of businesses and homes across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and better connectivity for all remaining premises by 2015.

Cambridgeshire County Council has committed up to £20million and Peterborough City Council has pledged up to £3million towards the project, with £6.75million allocated by the Government agency BDUK. This public money is being used to attract significant investment from the private sector.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates, Cabinet Member for Growth and Planning, said: "Registering takes seconds but could make a big difference to people's lives. It means elderly residents get better access to healthcare and services. It means local businesses can grow and new ones start up, which creates more jobs and a prosperous economy. It also means children have better access to educational material, raising academic achievement.

"A simple click of the mouse could mean so much to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Showing the levels of demand for better broadband will help Connecting Cambridgeshire to attract substantial investment from broadband suppliers, particularly in hard to reach rural areas. We would encourage you to click onto www.connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk and register."

Marco Cereste, Leader of Peterborough City Council, said: "I urge everyone to support this campaign in a bid to help our city secure superfast broadband. Increasing our connectivity will attract new businesses, innovation and enterprise.

"Wider coverage with faster connection speeds will also boost our environment capital aspirations and help to reduce our carbon footprint, as businesses will be able to encourage more people to work from home, or remotely, reducing traffic congestion.

"We all have a vital role to play in supporting the campaign and I encourage residents to visit the city council's website where signing up to support superfast broadband takes just a few minutes. The more registrations we can achieve, the better chance we have of broadband suppliers coming onboard to make our vision a reality."

Neville Reyner CBE DL, Chairman of the Greater Cambridge-Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said: "Superfast Broadband is a vital element of the infrastructure we need to support our future growth aspirations and sustainability across the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area. It is also critical for the UK as a whole because of the significant contribution our area makes to the national economy.

"I would urge as many people as possible to register their demand for improved broadband - that goes for businesses and for the community as a whole. The more people that do this the better we can enable and attract substantial investment from broadband suppliers to cover the LEP area as a whole, including the Enterprise Zone, key business and research locations and the harder-to-reach rural areas."