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Surrey and Hampshire Setup £200k Broadband Fund for Rural Businesses

Thursday, April 4th, 2013 (3:39 am) - Score 470

Enterprise M3, a public-private partnership that seeks to support businesses in the M3 area of west Surrey and Hampshire, has setup a new £200,000 fund to help make superfast broadband available to firms in the last 10% or so of the regions rural areas.

At present both Surrey and Hampshire have already signed state aid supported deals with BT to make related services available to at least 90% of local homes and businesses within the next three years.

Instead the new fund aims to assist businesses within the last few per cent that could otherwise be stuck with significantly slower internet connections.

John Jervoise, Chairman of Enterprise M3, said recently:

Both these deals mean that most businesses in the Enterprise M3 area will soon have access to the fast internet speeds that are vital to their ability to compete and grow in this global and digital economy. However, there are still businesses, particularly those in our rural areas, who won’t have access to superfast broadband following this deal.

Enterprise M3 has given the go ahead to a new broadband loan fund that will open the way for businesses in rural areas to access superfast broadband. The fund will complement the Hampshire County Council/BT deal by focusing on those areas unlikely to get broadband through the newly announced deal.

But improving internet infrastructure will continue to be a priority for the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and we will continue to champion for attaining 100% coverage which will require considerable further investment from local authorities and Government.”

The funding isn’t really enough to build a brand new fixed line infrastructure in all of the potentially affected areas, although it could be used to help support the use of alternative wifi and satellite solutions.

Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Avatar DTMark says:

    I applaud the recongnition of the issue and that businesses which have suffered such diabolical or non existent broadband for years need access to infrastructure.

    But, why only the rural areas?

    Satellite can’t do super-fast, at least, not yet.

    Wi-Fi can, but that pot of cash isn’t going to build very many networks with backhaul.

    Not least because that “last ten percent” are not all in one conurbation, rather, semi-randomly distributed across both rural and urbans.

    That 200k will vanish in an instant.

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