Cheshire East businesses and communities are being urged to join a growing campaign to secure superfast broadband in the borough by 2015, creating more jobs and wealth.
It is estimated that faster broadband will boost the whole of Cheshire’s economy by 1.3 billion over the next 15 years and create around 11,000 jobs.
The Government will soon make a decision about which areas will receive network investment – and Cheshire East could benefit, but only with your continued support.
To boost the bid and get behind Cheshire East’s campaign, register your demand at: www.connectingcheshire.org.uk . The more people that register, the better chance the Council has to influence the Government’s decision-making.
The campaign for ‘Better Broadband’ is being led by the Connecting Cheshire Partnership - made up of Cheshire East Council, Cheshire West and Chester, Warrington and Halton Councils.
The partnership has so far received more than £3m in government funding for the roll-out of superfast broadband, but needs up to £40m in order for the project to reach 100 per cent coverage.
Councillor David Brown, deputy leader and strategic communities’ portfolio holder, said: “Faster broadband is being installed in most towns, but many parts of Cheshire East are being left behind, especially our rural areas.
“We’re asking people to help stop the ‘digital divide’ and register their support on the website now.
“By registering, you will help ensure your community or business can be prioritised for investment.
“Faster broadband will benefit our residents and businesses, and getting behind the campaign will make sure that our voice is heard.”
Facts and figures (Source: Connecting Cheshire)
Across Cheshire East:
· Current broadband speeds across Cheshire East are around 8 per cent lower than the UK average of 7.3Mbps.
· Around 17 per cent of Cheshire East homes and businesses receive speeds of less than 2Mbps, mainly in rural areas.
· There are 106 telephone exchanges with over 1,555 telephone cabinets across Cheshire, of which in Cheshire East there are 46 telephone exchanges and 559 roadside telephone cabinets.
Across Cheshire as a whole:
· There are around 120,000 people in Cheshire – 15 per cent of the population have not used the internet yet.
· 96 per cent of internet users say the internet has improved their life.
· Six out of 10 adults now buy goods and services online.
· There are around 43,000 homes or businesses with broadband speeds around 15 times slower than superfast broadband.
· 50 per cent of businesses in rural areas are home-based compared with 26 per cent in urban areas.
· There are 479,000 premises with telephone lines.
· 440,000km of telephone lines across Cheshire.
The website: www.go-on.co.uk provides online help as well as