Homes and businesses suffering from slow broadband speeds in West Sussex could benefit from subsidised sattellite services.
The national scheme is being rolled out from this month as part of the Government’s commitment to ensure that everyone in the UK can access speeds of at least 2mbps by the end of 2015.
Although the delivery of superfast broadband is looking to deliver coverage to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017, a number of rural areas including some in West Sussex, fall into the five per cent category.
Ed Vaizey, Digital Economy Minister, said: “Our rollout of superfast broadband has already reached an additional 3.5 million homes and businesses who would otherwise have missed out.
“We are making tremendous progress, but it’s a massive engineering project and won’t happen overnight.
“This scheme offers immediate assistance to those homes and businesses in West Sussex with the slowest speeds and is all part of our transformation of the UK’s digital landscape.”
Users will be responsible for paying any remaining cost of installation and commissioning (if any), choosing the features of the satellite broadband service they require, and for paying the monthly subscription for the service they selected (for a minimum period of 12 months).
Nick Herbert, Arundel and South Downs MP, has been campaigning for action to tackle so-called ‘not-spots’, and organised a digital access summit in Midhurst last month, which was attended by Mr Vaizey.
Mr Herbert told the summit: “Today good broadband is a necessity, not a luxury and people living and working in rural areas like the South Downs need it too.”
The issue of broadband was also raised by West Sussex county councillors at a meeting earlier this month.
David Barling, cabinet member for residents’ services, said: “As far as I’m concerned it’s necessary to have this opportunity at home and for small rural businesses we support so much.”
For more information on the scheme visit the West Sussex Better Connected website at www.westsussex-betterconnected.org.uk/satellite-scheme
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