The internet is transforming the way that people live, work and play. It is driving business innovation and growth, ensuring that people can access services, and is opening up new opportunities for creative learning.
Not all business and communities, however, are able to take advantage of these opportunities. Whilst some urban areas are able access superfast broadband and a range of digital services, other, more rural, areas struggle with the most basic of internet functions.
Investment in broadband
Harborough District Council agreed to provide funding of £530,000 to help bring super-fast broadband to the district's rural areas at the Council meeting held on Monday 3 December 2012.
The money will be used as part of a Leciestershire County Council project to improve broadband access.
Harborough District Council continues to work with Leicestershire County Council and British Telecom to maximise the roll-out of Superfast Broadband across the county.
As a rural district we recognise the need to put in additional investment (potentially up to £530K) to allow more of our residents to be connected in the period 2014- 2016.
We are still awaiting confirmation of which specific areas will be covered by the broadband roll out. This is expected before Christmas, with a view that the district council will agree its level of investment in January 2014.
This decision will consider the value for money achieved from the district council’s investment. In addition, there will be the need to engage with some communities who will not be connected as part of this initial phase of solutions and alternatives that may be available.
The next couple of months will be critical for parishes to fully understand the superfast rollout in their area. We intend providing an update at the Annual Parish Liaison Meeting at Leicester Grammar School in Great Glen on the 29th January 2014.
Broadband Leciestershire programme
The Broadband Leicestershire programme, led by Leicestershire County Council, is working in partnership with public, private and voluntary sector organisations to identify and deliver the connectivity needs of communities, businesses, and public sector organisations.
Harborough District Council is working with Leicestershire County Council and is committed to help ensure broadband is improved, especially within the Harborough District.