Shropshire communities set to get £20000 help for faster internet
The new scheme has been unveiled by BT as part of an effort to tackle problems with rural internet connections. As well as providing grants, a dedicated team of experts will be on hand to help those who have slow broadband connection. According to BT’s own figures, nearly 79 per cent of homes and businesses in Shropshire, and more than 93 per cent in Telford & Wrekin are now able to get superfast download speeds.
However, those living in the more rural parts of the county, including hamlets in north and south Shropshire, have very slow or no broadband connection. Ian Binks, BT’s regional manager for Shropshire and the West Midlands said he is aware that more work needed to be done in these rural areas and has promised that groups who come forward for a scheme, which has already been rolled out across other parts of the country, will have all the help and expertise they need. He said: “We know speed is important and we’re having great success with a new initiative called a Community Fibre Partnership (CFP) specifically intended to help communities not yet involved in any roll-out plans. Across the UK, more than 200 CFP projects have so far been agreed with local communities, of which more than 100 have already been completed.
“A Community Fibre Partnership involves a local group working directly with us. There usually needs to be a joint funding arrangement, but we do everything we can to make it as affordable as possible.
There’s even a grant available of up to ?20,000 if your local Ofsted registered school benefits from the work.”
BT has put together a dedicated team who will explain the process to applicants. Advertising
He added: “It provides participating communities with a fibre connection via the Openreach network, so they can continue choosing their own internet service provider and benefit from competitive pricing.”
In January, Ofcom claimed that about 14 per cent of households in Shropshire Council’s area were unable to get access to 10mbps broadband speeds. The industry watchdog also said that around seven per cent of homes were unable to access 5mpbs connections, while about three per cent couldn’t even get 2mbps.
In Telford & Wrekin Ofcom found that around six per cent of households were still not meeting the basic figure.
The national average is five per cent of properties.