In 2010, the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) announced a funding programme to support the roll out of high speed Broadband in rural areas. The total funding available was small at just £375,000 for the whole of the South East region. SEEDA was looking to select a small number of pilot projects and Natural Enterprise were keen to ensure the Isle of Wight received some of this funding.
The overall aim of this funding programme is to help rural areas get online, create new jobs and help businesses to grow.
© Chris Boynton
In response to this funding opportunity a group of partners including Natural Enterprise discussed with BT the opportunity to secure funding and then to operate a not for profit venture, to offer higher speed broadband at a comparable cost to existing offerings within the Yarmouth Telephone Exchange area.
It was proposed to use a combination of technologies to provide broadband over and above the current provision. The aim was to provide a minimum download speed of 8mbps to the majority of the connections with a view to achieving in excess of 20mbps where possible. It would also be possible to synchronise (the same speeds download as upload) to business subscribers. As the project would be community driven it would allow flexibility to increase speeds as technology progressed.
The allocation of this funding was on a competitive basis and therefore to be successful it was essential that we demonstrated local demand, and the economic and social benefit associated with this investment. By June 2010, 165 local residents and businesses signed up in support of Yarmouth Broadband.
In January 2011, we heard that our bid had been successful and so now we look again to the Yarmouth community to continue their support and to sign up to receive high speed broadband from Yarmouth Broadband.