Merry Christmas and a happy New Year
Look out for the super-size Christmas greeting on the Connecting Cambridgeshire website home page to thank the tens of thousands of homes and businesses that have supported our countywide campaign to bring superfast broadband to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
Campaign success – thanks to you
More than 23,000 people have registered their demand for better broadband with the Connecting Cambridgeshire campaign since it was launched in May 2012 – making it one of the fastest growing and biggest broadband campaigns in the country.
This campaign success has been achieved with the fantastic support of our 100 Broadband Champions, who have worked hard to encourage registrations in their communities, particularly in rural areas.
The Champions have provided a range of case studies demonstrating how householders and home-based businesses in rural areas will benefit from better broadband, which you can view on the Connecting Cambridgeshire website
Active campaigning will close on 31 December, but homes and businesses will still be able to register their demand for better broadband online for a little while longer. Every registration counts to show suppliers the level of demand for better broadband across the county.
The next stage of the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme will be to award the contract to a supplier in the early months of 2013 to roll-out better broadband for all over the next three years.
BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK) has recently been cleared to give State Aid approval on behalf of the EU for broadband projects in rural areas.
This means local authorities can now submit State Aid exemption requests for their broadband projects. Once these are approved, local authorities can the sign procurement contracts with contractors and begin delivery work on their new broadband infrastructure projects.
Connecting Cambridgeshire is one of several UK broadband delivery projects in the ‘pipeline’ and will be seeking State Aid exemption during the final stages of the complex procurement process before finalising the contract award.
Cambridge to become a super-connected city
Cambridge is to become a super-connected city as part of countywide plans for better broadband across Cambridgeshire.
The city is one of 12 smaller cities chosen from a shortlist of 27 to share £50 million in the second wave of the Department of Culture Media and Sport’s Urban Broadband Fund, which was announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement recently.
The plan will boost the local economy by delivering broadband speeds greater than 80-100 mbps for businesses, speeding up residential connectivity, and providing high speed wireless across the urban Cambridge area.
The successful bid was developed by Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council working together with MPs and the greater Cambridge business and academic community to cover the urban Cambridge area where the density of properties places high demands on broadband coverage.
Super Connected Cambridge complements the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme to bring better broadband to homes and businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, particularly in rural areas.
Together, the super-connected and superfast broadband projects will improve broadband connectivity across the whole county, boosting the local economy and improving digital inclusion.
Cambridgeshire County Council has committed up to £20 million with £3 million from Peterborough City Council together with £6.75 million from the Government funding body BDUK for the roll-out of superfast broadband by 2015.
Cambridge’s share of the £50 million Super Connected Cities fund will be in addition to this investment in superfast broadband to stimulate growth and help communities and businesses to thrive.
Connecting Cambridgeshire is awaiting further details of the funding award for the built up areas in and around Cambridge city.
Connecting Cambridgeshire has supported a Cambridgeshire ACRE rural issues seminar on how better broadband can open up the digital world for everyone. Held in Wisbech in November, the discussion involved parish councils, village groups, local residents and campaigners from neighbouring counties.
Project Director, Noelle Godfrey, explained how the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme to roll out better broadband across the county will benefit businesses and communities and there were presentations to show how Cambridgeshire County Council’s ShapeYourPlace community website forums and Digital Champions are helping people to make the most of the internet.
The campaign has also been highlighted at the AGM of the Greater Cambridgeshire branch of the Federation of Small Businesses and in recent issues of the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce ‘Connected’ magazine.
Keep sharing the campaign
Although active campaigning is ending on December 31st we can still get a few more registrations! Help support the campaign by sharing the Connecting Cambridgeshire campaign with your friends and followers.
Use Facebook to show your support by sharing our link with your friends.
Use Twitter to show your support by tweeting our link to your followers.
Keep in touch
Regular updates will be posted on the Connecting Cambridgeshire website to keep you informed.
For more information, visit the website or contact us via Twitter @connectingcambridgeshire