Superfast broadband on its way

The Kent & Medway Local Broadband Plan has a target that 90 per cent of homes and businesses will have superfast broadband access (24 Mbps) by 2015, and that the remaining 10 per cent will have access to a service of at least 2 Mbps. The ‘Make Kent Quicker’ is a demand registration campaign that has been launched by KCC (with the help of the Boroughs and Districts) to secure government and private sector funding in order to reach this target.

Tunbridge Wells Borough is currently leading demand registration signup in Kent, with over 1300 votes. However, the number of votes needs to be higher. Please encourage both residents and businesses to signup and make Tunbridge Wells superfast! www.tunbridgewells.gov.uk/votebroadband.

 

All Parish Councils in the Borough, regardless of current broadband status, were provided with Make Kent Quicker posters and flyers at the February Parish Chairs meeting. However, we are able to provide additional campaign posters and postcard size flyers, which can be distributed at community events or made available in local shops and public buildings. We are also able to laminate posters for display on external community notice boards.

 

If you wish to order additional resources, have any suggestions to promote the campaign, or have any further questions regarding broadband; please do not hesitate to get in touch. Please contact Bartholomew Stafford-Wren (Economic Development Officer) tel: 01892 554128 or email: bartholomew.stafford-wren@tunbridgewells.gov.uk.

 

Rural Community Broadband Fund

In January 2012, the Economic Development team submitted two Expressions of Interest (EOI) to Defra, to secure funding towards the delivery of superfast broadband infrastructure (24 Mbps +). These bids are for Speldhurst (in partnership with neighbouring Sevenoaks parishes) and Cranbrook & Sissinghurst.

 

The fund established by Defra/DCMS is intended to support the delivery of broadband solutions for communities which are identified as being outside of areas, which already have good broadband provision, or which will receive enhanced provision as a consequence of the 90% target in the Local Broadband Plan (mentioned above).

 

Defra completed the formal assessment process in March and both EOIs were subsequently endorsed. We are now progressing full applications, to secure funding for these communities within the next 6 months. This is a significant success for Tunbridge Wells, as we have been informed that 40 EOI’s were submitted nationally, 16 of which were endorsed, 2 of these were from Tunbridge Wells.

 

We have now been informed that there will be further opportunity to secure funding from the RCBF, to be announced in May. If other eligible Parish Council’s remain interested please let the Economic Development team know, so that a further Expression of Interest can be co-ordinated.

 

Remaining eligible parishes are: Benenden, Brenchley, Bidborough, Capel, Frittenden and Horsmonden.