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Hampshire UK Targets a Superfast Broadband Future

Posted: 06th Oct, 2010 By: MarkJ
hampshire uk mapThe Hampshire Senate, a voluntary partnership made up of the County Council leaders from all 11 district councils and various other authorities (e.g. Police and Fire etc.), has supported a call for more Hampshire homes and businesses to gain "super-fast" broadband connections in the future.

Hampshire's current broadband coverage is described by the Senate as being "relatively good in the main urban parts", but roughly 112,000 people and 3,400 businesses are still unable to get broadband at the Government's proposed minimum speed of 2Mbps (USC 2015 target).

It's feared that this lack of fast broadband could impact on the economic and social viability of the county, and its ability to support local businesses and their economic activity. The senate has therefore suggested the creation of a not-for-profit company to deliver super-fast broadband, where local authorities would be shareholders in partnership with private organisations.

Chairman of the Hampshire Senate, Councillor Ken Thornber, added:

"Faster broadband speeds are vital for the ongoing growth of the county’s economy. Research shows that there is a huge demand for improved speeds, but rural areas which make up over 85% of Hampshire, as well as many parts of our towns and cities, are still missing out on even the minimum levels, and this connectivity can often be the deciding factor for many businesses when choosing whether it’s commercially viable to set up in Hampshire.

There is still some way to go before the benefits of faster broadband can be felt in many communities and if we decide that the only way to achieve this is by setting up a not-for-profit company, that’s what we’ll do. Using our collective might as the Hampshire Senate, we will be able to influence and negotiate better connections for households and businesses across all parts of the county."

David Livermore, Chairman of the eHampshire Partnership, said:

"I’m very pleased that the Senate is backing these initial proposals to deliver superfast broadband to all parts of the county and I look forward to continuing the work with partners on the wider agenda to support businesses and the community by exploiting information and communication technologies to the full."

The eHampshire Partnership (formerly 'The Hampshire Broadband Project') claims to be the body responsible for "driving forward the use of ICT and high speed communications in Hampshire". Further details surrounding the plan, or at least its viability, are expected to be thrashed out over the next few months.
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