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Calling all residents and businesses in Torbay – help campaign for faster broadband

Torbay Development Agency is calling upon local residents and businesses to get behind the Connecting Devon and Somerset campaign for a super-fast broadband roll out across the South West.

Launched on February 6, the broadband improvement scheme requires web users to respond to a survey on their online activity. Data collected will be used to help suppliers work with communities to implement the line upgrades.

The survey, which will run until 29 February needing atleast 10,000 responses, was designed to find out perceptions of current broadband speeds, what users are willing to pay for an improved service and what faster speeds will mean to businesses and the community.

Connecting Devon and Somerset’s aim is to provide the South West with total broadband coverage of at least 2Mbps, with a minimum of 85% access to super-fast broadband at 24Mbps by 2015.

According to Ofcom, around 18% of premises across both counties currently have speeds less than 2Mbps, significantly lower than UK average of 7.6Mbps. In Devon, just 17% have super-fast broadband, whilst in Somerset only 4% can access the high speed service.

The project has secured £31 million in funding from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), and is supported by Torbay, Plymouth, North Somerset, Somerset and Devon County Councils.

Gordon Oliver, Mayor of Torbay said: “We must work together to ensure Torbay benefits from better broadband speeds which would help attract more business to the area with faster access to services and a stronger digital infrastructure.”

Torbay Development Agency’s Director of Economic Strategy, Alan Denby, said: “This campaign has real implications for the local economy and the competitiveness of our businesses, we saw the demand from business at the Webfuelled Business seminar and now it is important that Torbay’s businesses and residents support this important initiative that will help give us a competitive edge over the rest of the UK.”

To help Torbay secure the bid for super-fast broadband, visit www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk and complete the survey, or telephone 0844 4636887