High Peak residents urged to shout for faster broadband
Residents and businesses in the High Peak region of Derbyshire are being urged to help the local council put forward a case for faster broadband connectivity.
Some £530 million will be invested in improving the UK's broadband infrastructure over the next four years by the government, while BT is set to spend £2.5 billion on rolling out fibre optic broadband to two-thirds of properties by the end of 2014.
Although some High Peak communities - such as Glossop and New Mills - are already able to access super-fast broadband with speeds of at least 24Mbps, both BT and the Conservative-led coalition have warned it will not prove commercially viable to extend this service all the way across the region.
Rural villages with low populations are most likely to miss out on broadband access from private-sector deployments.
In order to secure public funding to boost broadband provision in the area, High Peak Borough Council (HPBC) has called for locals to flag up their connectivity woes by completing an online questionnaire.
Participants will be asked a range of questions, including the identity of their current internet service provider, the headline download speed of their connection and its real-world performance.
Ian Huddlestone, executive councillor for regeneration, said it is "vital" that consumers and businesses have faster broadband access now that computers and the internet have become increasingly important to daily life.
"We know there are currently many households and businesses that only have access to slower broadband that does not meet the government's target," he added.
"That's why we need people to complete the survey to help us identify where access could be improved and to demonstrate a strong demand for improved broadband right across the High Peak."
Mr Huddlestone went on to stress fast action is needed on the matter, as HPBC needs to submit its broadband improvement plans before the new year.