AREAS of Lincolnshire suffering from little or no broadband service are being highlighted as part of a campaign to improve connectivity.
A map showing huge areas of so-called “not-spots” across the county has been drawn up by Lincolnshire County Council in the hope that businesses in the area will be spurred into action and register with the Onlincolnshire.org website.
The lighter colours on the map indicate that the speeds in those areas are on average below 2mbps, or non-existent, meaning that simple things that many take for granted like using BBC iPlayer simply do not function.
More than 530 residents and about 80 businesses in the Mercury area have already added their voices to the Broadband Means Business campaign, but more are needed to reach the county-wide target of 10,000 by December.
The Mercury has backed the campaign and the list of business sign-ups will eventually be used to lobby service providers to improve the infrastructure across the county.
Simon Beardsley, chief executive of the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce which is spearheading the campaign on behalf of the council along with the Federation of Small Businesses and the Institute of Directors, said: “This map is a stark wake-up call for all businesses in Stamford and the surrounding area to realise just how much we are missing out on.
“It is concerning, but unfortunately not surprising, that so many parts have little or no connection.
“I would hope to see every business in Stamford sign up to the campaign and show that this is a place that demands a better broadband service.”
Countywide, 1,015 businesses have answered the call for poor connectivity to be improved.
Holly Cook, owner of The Mimosa Bakery, based in Rutland Road, Stamford, said although her service was acceptable, she would still support the campaign for businesses without a reliable service.
“I do rely on the internet for my business, and the connection here is pretty okay,” said Holly.
“But we can all do our bit and if other people don’t have the same service I have, then I would support the campaign to get access improved generally, and call on other businesses to do the same.”
The Onlincolnshire initiative is part of Lincolnshire County Council’s Lincolnshire Broadband Plan, which aims to bring next-generation broadband (a minimum of 24Mbps) to 90 per cent of county premises by 2015 and a guarantee of at least 2Mbps for the remaining 10 per cent.
Public and private sector funding worth about £57m will be invested in a better service, including £10m from the county council and £4m from the district councils and European Union.