Rutland County Council’s new bid to improve broadband speeds

RUTLAND County Council is launching a new bid to improve broadband speeds.

A £2m bid to the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK agency was turned down last month, but the council has gone back with a new application for £600,000.

The council says it still needs the full £2m to complete the Digital Rutland project and will look for public and private sector investment for the rest of the money.

Deputy leader Terry King (Con) said: “We are determined to deliver this project as the benefit to homes and businesses across the county will be significant

“Digital Rutland involves high-speed broadband being made available to 99 per cent of homes and businesses across the county.”

The council would like to complete the project by 2013 to increase the attraction of Rutland as a location for business.

At the moment businesses in

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the county are struggling to cope as industries start to rely more heavily on the internet.

Tim Harris, of Rutland Cycling based at Whitwell, said: “The rurality of our Rutland outlets means that we experience poor upload speeds.

“A reliable and fast broadband service is critical to the future of our business.”

Rob Waddington, of Lakeside Guest Accommodation and Rutland Fly Fishing Adventures, based at Rutland Water, said: “The current technological constraints and any future plans to improve the broadband infrastructure will be key to the expansion of my businesses.”

Broadband Delivery UK is a government funded project set up by to improve access to the internet across the country.

The council has not been told when it will find out if the bid has been successful.

The council is also asking the public for help in its bid.

By gathering information about broadband speeds across the county it will be able to argue its case to funding bodies.

Coun King added: “We need as many residents and business owners as possible to visit the council website at www.rutland.gov.uk and complete a broadband questionnaire.

“Local views are one of the first things that national funding organisations take into account when awarding funding.”

There are three questionnaires to take part in. The first is a general speed test for all internet users to complete; the second is a survey on broadband speeds in the county; the third is a questionnaire for business owners in Rutland.

For more information visit www.rutland.gov.uk/digitalrutland