Information is being sought to help plans for super-fast broadband services that could bring a boost to hundreds of residents and businesses.
Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council is looking to local communities to show there is demand for an enhanced service – and potentially attract crucial funding in the process.
The Government has set a target of making superfast broadband – with speeds of at least 24 to 30 megabits per second – available to 90 per cent of premises in the UK, and at least 2mb/s to the rest, by 2015.
Funding is available from a variety of sources and the Council wants to attract cash on top of the £260,000 it has already committed to improving broadband services.
To help secure this funding, the Council is calling on residents and businesses to complete a questionnaire to demonstrate the demand for improved broadband.
And the more responses, the more information the Council will have to help communities in areas of poor provision and the greater the chances of an Internet provider improving the borough’s infrastructure.
The questionnaire, to be completed by 17 August, can be found online at www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/broadband and paper copies can be obtained from Redcar and Cleveland House, Redcar; Belmont House, Guisborough; and libraries throughout the Borough.
The results will help Redcar & Cleveland join forces with neighbouring councils, Tees Valley Unlimited and Tees Valley Rural Community Council in a bid to attract government funds.
Council Leader George Dunning said: “There are several areas of poor broadband access in the Borough, mainly in East Cleveland and the area from northern Guisborough to the fringes of Wilton, Marske and Redcar.
“Superfast broadband benefits all businesses and communities, and we would urge as many people as possible to complete the questionnaire so we can highlight the need for it.”
A joint Tees Valley plan with Durham, Sunderland and Gateshead councils could eventually secure a service provider to offer vastly-improved broadband access across a large area of the North-East.
Follow this link to find the questionnaire