Rural Broadband update

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OFFICERS at Stratford District Council are currently producing a Rural Broadband business case following a meeting in February with Government officials from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Thirty-three parish councils in the district have confirmed they have significant issues with no, slow or poor connectivity in relation to broadband coverage in their area.

Since the district council hosted the supplier day last September, both Oxfordshire and Northumberland County Councils have approached SDC, and are experiencing similar problems in rural areas.

The district council has also suggested to DCMS that it is happy to take part in any pilot schemes that may be rolled out nationally.

Margot James MP, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries responding to the district council regarding broadband provision in the district says she is: “…pleased to note the DCMS officials are in regular contact with officials at Stratford-on-Avon District Council, to provide guidance on the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR) and the Rural Gigabit Connectivity Programme and ‘the Outside-in’ approach, which will support the government’s ambition for full fibre coverage by 2033.”

She also commented: “The people of Stratford are fortunate to have such a well informed and pro-active Council.”

Rural broadband is a priority for the District Council and it is clear from the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) roll-out that there will need to be a number of different technical solutions to provide a solution for all district residents and businesses.

The district cCouncil is also exploring a Joint Venture option for delivery and is also looking at future funding opportunities.