Get on board to speed up Broadband
ONE of the regular features of my postbag is the letter complaining about slow broadband speeds.
This is particularly true of the rural areas where houses are further away from BT exchanges, and therefore sometimes have to put up with broadband speeds which make the downloading of video material impractical.
In response to this, Kent County Council is running a "Make Kent Quicker" campaign which is designed to help the spread of superfast broadband in the county.
This is a £43 million project which is designed to transform the infrastructure so that 90 per cent of Kent's properties can access superfast broadband services by 2015, with the remaining 10 per cent having access to at least 2MB per second. This is in line with the Government's national targets under the BDUK programme.
The funding secured already comprises £10 million from Kent County Council which has been matched by a similar sum from the Government.
To achieve the full £43 million, the broadband providers need to invest in the project as well. To persuade them to do this, we all need to be able to demonstrate that Kent is seen as an attractive investment proposition.
This involves as many people as possible registering their demand for fast broadband.
To do this you need to go to www.makekentquicker.com. It is important not just to register yourself but to encourage your neighbours and the wider community to get involved as well.
All the information on broadband in Kent is published on that site, along with a voting survey which takes less than five minutes to complete.
The vagaries of the phone system mean that until the procurement for the whole of Kent is complete, it is impossible to identify which parts of the county form the 10 per cent hardest-to-reach areas.
In the meantime anyone who has too slow access to the Internet can visit the Ashford Gateway, or other libraries, where there are PC facilities and people who can help any new users to get online.
If this project does obtain wide enough public support then the building of the network will start in 2013.
This is one of those projects where the involvement of as many people as possible is vital.
There will be a lot of competition for the investment money of the big network providers, so our future is in our own hands.
Do register if you care about the future connections to your home.