THIS map of Linolnshire reveals the parts of the county where an upgrade is desperately needed if its residents are to benefit fully from the information technology revolution.
The areas shaded yellow are missing out on decent Broadband access to the internet, and it is proving a major disadvantage, both to ordinary people and businesses.
In these areas the service is less than 2Mpb or nothing at all.
The Grantham Journal and its sister publications in the county are so concerned that people are missing out on a vital servicxe, they are backing Lincolnshire County Council project to do something about it.
Coun Kelly Smith, Executive Member for Finance and HR at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “It’s hard to imagine life without the internet.
“Yet in some parts of Lincolnshire, what many of us now take for granted remains out of reach.”
The Lincolnshire County Council-led project aims to bring superfast broadband speeds of at least 24Mbps to 90per cent of homes and businesses in the county by 2015, with a guaranteed 2Mpbs for the remaining premises.
Over the next few years, superfast broadband technology will be rolled out across the county.
Around £57 million of private and public sector money will be invested in this, including £10m from the county council and £4m from the district councils.
Residents can help by registering at www.onlincolnshire.org , proving to commercial suppliers that there’s demand for next-generation broadband. Almost 7,000 have already done so.
Coun Smith added: “This will encourage them to invest more of their own money in improving services, helping turn the county’s broadband ‘not-spots’ into ‘hot-spots’.”
Businesses are also being urged to support the campaign.
The goal is to get 10,000 businesses across Lincolnshire to register with the OnLincolnshire website by November – meaning every single firm in Grantham has a role to play.
The list of businesses will then be used to lobby service providers to put a better infrastructure in place.
The Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Institute of Directors (IoD) are also helping to spread the word.
Simon Beardsley, Chief Executive at the Chamber said: “The business community in Grantham will see huge benefits once there is better broadband provision in the area. All they need to do to help get to that point is to take just a couple of minutes and register with OnLincolnshire.org to help bring that provision here.”
Michael Self, Development Manager for Lincolnshire at the FSB, added: “We have a fantastic opportunity right now to revolutionise communications in Grantham and the rest of Lincolnshire through the ‘Broadband Means Business’ initiative from OnLincolnshire.
“We have the funding already in place – usually the hardest part – all we need do now is to prove to the service providers that there is the demand here for advanced broadband. There’s no commitment, just an expression of interest, and so I would call on all local businesses to go onto the www.OnLincolnshire.org website now and register.
“Let’s make Grantham the place to do business by bringing advanced broadband here as soon as possible.”