28 March 2011

Northamptonshire County Council is asking people about current broadband capabilities in their area.

The information obtained will help the council develop a funding bid to central government to help provide superfast broadband speeds across the county.

The online questionnaire asks what speeds are currently available and what problems people encounter online either through business or leisure.

Cllr David Mackintosh, county council cabinet member for strategy, communications and external relations, said: “Access to superfast broadband is crucial to Northamptonshire’s prosperity and reflects the county council’s core purpose of helping you to help yourself.

“We live in a great county, which is an ideal location for businesses in many ways. Having superfast broadband speeds will enhance our reputation as being a great place in which to live and work.

“Superfast broadband speeds businesses can be more flexible as to where they locate and this will help stimulate economic growth in the county.”

Most of Northamptonshire is currently only served by lines that deliver broadband speeds of 8mb/s or 24mb/s at best. This compares to speeds of up to 100mb/s in some parts of the country.

Some parts of the urban areas are not achieving 2mb/s and many rural areas have speeds of 0.5 mb/s or even no fixed line broadband service. These are known as ‘not spots’.

To eliminate the possibility of digital exclusion the county council’s goal is that a minimum of two-thirds of premises have access to broadband speeds in excess of 10mb/s by 2014 and at least nine out of 10 premises have this by 2015.

Anyone can complete the form by clicking here.

The questionnaires need to be completed by April 7. The county council’s cabinet will discuss the bid to government at a meeting on April 12.