Poll finds half of Gloucestershire homes have unacceptable broadband
Almost half of homes in Gloucestershire are stuck with broadband download speeds of less than the government's minimum acceptable level, according to a new survey.
Conducted by the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire-wide Borders Broadband project, the study also found that most broadband customers in the county are dissatisfied with the capability of their line and the majority have to put up with sluggish internet performance at certain times of day.
Furthermore, almost half of residents claimed they regularly lose their connection to the web.
Nearly 6,000 Gloucestershire households were polled in an attempt to attract private investment to the Borders Broadband scheme by illustrating current levels of demand for super-fast broadband services in the area.
Government agency Broadband Delivery UK has already awarded £14.4 million to the two counties, with this total being boosted by contributions of £7.5 million and £6 million from Gloucestershire and Herefordshire county councils respectively.
It is also hoped that private sector investors will be attracted to the project, with the public money acting as a means of securing a commercial communications provider to carry out the infrastructure improvement work needed to deliver faster broadband to local residents and businesses.
The survey also discovered that more than half of Gloucestershire households spend more than 20 hours a week online and six in ten use the web to work from home.
Previous figures published by the Borders Broadband initiative claimed that some parts of Gloucestershire have speeds as low as 0.2Mbps.
David Owen, chief executive of the GFirst local enterprise partnership, said: "These figures just aren't acceptable in a world where high-speed internet is vital for businesses to grow.
"Many firms are reliant on broadband to not only communicate internally and externally, but also to sell their products to overseas markets.
"We must ensure Gloucestershire has high-speed broadband to help our businesses compete on a global scale."