10,000 responses needed for Devon and Somerset broadband campaign
Five south-west councils have teamed up to call for at least 10,000 local residents and businesses to get behind their super-fast broadband campaign.
The Connecting Devon and Somerset scheme, which is a joint effort between the two county councils, North Somerset Council, Plymouth City Council and Torbay Council, aims to deliver faster broadband to all properties in the area.
Under their combined project, at least 85 per cent of commercial and residential premises will be connected to next-generation broadband by 2015, before being extended to the remaining communities by 2020.
Set to launch on Monday (February 6th 2012), the campaign will call for locals to complete a questionnaire detailing the current levels of broadband service in their area, how much they would be prepared to pay for faster speeds and what super-fast connectivity would mean to them.
Residents will be contacted by phone to complete the survey, although a website has also been established to allow consumers to submit their responses in work and other locations. Before answering the questions, respondents will be sent information from the councils via direct mail.
According to the local authorities, at least 10,000 responses are required to push forward the broadband strategy, which has already secured £31 million of funding from government body Broadband Delivery UK.
David Hall, cabinet member for strategic planning and economic development at Somerset County Council, said: "We must secure further investment from the private sector.
"To do this we need to provide evidence that there is a strong demand for super-fast broadband. It is the only way we will reach many rural areas and market towns."
As part of the Connecting Devon and Somerset project, satellite broadband with speeds of between 6 and 10Mbps will be rolled out to more than 1,000 homes and businesses in remote parts of the two counties.