‘Speaking up will make a difference’

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PEOPLE who want superfast broadband in their villages are being urged to ‘stand up and shout about it’ by the county council’s project manager.

Earlier this year Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) was handed £4 million from the Government’s BDUK Broadband Delivery Project, an amount which the authority will be matching with its own funds.

That cash will be spent on upgrading broadband connection speeds in areas which are not seen as commercially viable for private firms such as BT.

And Llewelyn Morgan, project manager for broadband delivery at NCC, said if people want to see superfast speeds in their area then putting forward a strong case could be the key.

He told the Daventry Express: “We are aiming to have superfast broadband in 70 per cent of Northamptonshire by 2014.

“We then want 90 per cent of the county covered by 2015 and 100 per cent of the county covered by 2017, with download speeds of 30mbps throughout.

“Alongside the money we have from BDUK is the cash from the private sector, but for businesses to invest it must be commercially viable.”

BT is spending £2.5 billion in a bid to get superfast internet speeds to two thirds of the UK by 2015.

Mr Morgan added: “If there is a clear need in an area and BT can see commercial payback, then they will invest.

“Basically the louder people shout about it the better chance there is of investment coming to their area.

“In future the county council may also look at subsidising broadband for groups such as the elderly.

“And we want new housing developments to have superfast broadband installed during the building process.

“At the moment we know lots of them, such as Middlemore in Daventry, don’t have this.”

The exchange that serves Daventry town centre is already earmarked for upgrade in 2012 when fibre optic cables will replace the outdated copper cables currently in use.

But many village exchanges in the Daventry district haven’t made the current upgrade list.

The Daventry Express is campaigning to make sure the district gets a fair share of any investment.

We are also looking for local champions who would like to put a Superfast Broadband case forward for their village.

To sign the Gusher’s petition or get involved pop into our office on the High Street, visit www.petition online.co.uk and search for Daventry or go to http://tinyurl.com/43vjdve. Alternatively pop in and sign it in our office in Daventry High Street

NCC has also launched an e-petition and blog where people can share experiences and give views.

For details visit http://superfastnorthamptonshire.wordpress.com/.