Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Essex: Focus £10 million superfast broadband windfall on rural areas, says MP

07:00 27 February 2014

Douglas Carswell

Douglas Carswell

Archant

Rural areas in north Essex should be among those to benefit from a £10million superfast broadband windfall, an MP has said.

shares

The government yesterday announced it is making an additional £10.7m available to boost internet connections in the county for both business and home users.

The announcement follows on from a pledge to spend £24m on the service made last autumn by the government, telecoms provider BT, and Essex County Council, who at the time said it hoped to make superfast broadband available to 90% of people living in Essex by 2016.

But Clacton MP Douglas Carswell said he wants the additional funds focused on rural areas, where download speeds are slow and access to the internet is still in the “Dark Ages”.

“There is a huge swathe of rural communities in north Essex between Colchester, Clacton and Harwich where the service is just not good enough,” he added.

Both download speeds and upload speeds - which are important to businesses - are very slow. Having good broadband connections is vital to rural economies - it enables businesses to stay in villages and provides employment opportunities.

Mr Carswell added: “Broadband is to the 20th Century what railways were to the 19th Century. There’s no point putting more resources in urban centre where people are already well-connected, the funds need to go to areas in Tendring where internet services are still in the Dark Ages.”

Mr Carswell’s remarks were backed by chief executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce, Denise Rossiter, who said: “With a growing number of people working from home or based in rural areas access to superfast broadband is no longer a luxury but a day to day necessity for both businesses and residents.

“We very much welcome this announcement from the Government to increase the coverage in hard to reach areas which should give a much needed boost to our rural economies”

Colchester councillor Tim Young said rural areas in the Colchester borough that need better broadband services include Layer Marney, Birch, Fingringhoe and Abberton.

The government announced an additional £250m for broadband across the UK yesterday with £32m going to the east of England. An additional £5m will go to Suffolk and £5.6m to Norfolk

Culture Secretary Maria Miller added: “Superfast broadband will benefit everyone in the east of England - whether they need it for work, to do homework or simply to download music or films. Thousands of homes and businesses now have access and it is helping people with their everyday tasks. We want to make sure that Britain is one of the best countries in the world for broadband, and the extra £250m we are investing will help ensure communities around the UK are not left behind in the digital slow lane.”

shares

0 comments

George Osborne visits Asda Colchester where he helps out with the Click and Collect service.  Pictured with Tom Adkins home shopping driver.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne made one last trip to Colchester today in a desperate bid to beat the odds and win the seat for the Tories.

John Ball and his search and rescue dog Darcy are part of the UK's International Search and Rescue team which has now reached earthquake-hit Nepal. pic: Jessica Lea/DFID

A Suffolk rescue dog handler has spent the past week in earthquake-struck Nepal to help the international rescue mission.

The Election count at the Princes Theatre in the Town Hall in Clacton following last year's by-election

An army of council workers are preparing to spend tomorrow night sorting ballot papers and counting votes following a day of voting in Suffolk and north Essex.

Polling stations open at 7am tomorrow

Tomorrow night as the ballot papers are verified and counted, we will have reporters and photographers out in force ensuring we are first with the election news for Suffolk and north Essex.


Bill Wyman's 1971 Citroën Maserati SM is being offered at Bonhams' Festival of Speed Sale on 26 June.

Former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, from Suffolk, is parting with two classic cars that he took to recording sessions for several of the band’s famous albums.

Ipswich and Norwich fans gather outside Portman Road.

7,500 tickets have been sold by the club already today, on the first day of general sale.

Abellio Greater Anglia

Some rail services to and from Ipswich and Clacton are being altered due to signalling problems.

Body found in woodland.

The body of a man has been found in woodland in Stoke-by-Clare.

Junction 22 of the A12 on a clear day.

A two-vehicle crash was blocking the A12 southbound at the Witham bypass.

Samantha Gay (Suffolk Wildlife Trust) is pictured with the bluebells in flower at Arger Fen, Assington.

Now is the time to see ancient woodland at the Arger Fen reserve near Assington amassed with bluebells.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages