Bristol is to receive £4.8 million to help small and medium sized businesses upgrade to a high speed, high grade, broadband connection. It's the city's share of a £100m connection voucher scheme announced by the government.
Connection Vouchers cover the upfront capital cost of broadband installation up to the value of £3,000. Bristol businesses are eligible to apply if they have fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than £40m. Further details here.
We were very disappointed that Bath missed out on the latest round of Government funding to deliver ultrafast broadband.
Fast, reliable broadband connections are crucial to securing the new high-tech and creative industries we want to see establish themselves in Bath. This kind of infrastructure investment and new technology is essential to growing our local economy.
– Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones , Shadow Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development
Conservative councillors have called for action to deliver faster Broadband internet connections in Bath.
They city’s Conservatives have said they are worried that Bath is being "left behind" as other cities invest in ultrafast broadband and are pressing Bath and North East Somerset council to treat the issue as a higher priority.
In December the Government announced that several of Bath’s competitor cities, including Oxford, Cambridge, York and Brighton, had been successful in their bids for funding to deliver ultrafast broadband speeds of up to 100mbps.
It was also announced last year that Bristol had been successful in a similar bid for Government investment to deliver ultrafast broadband.
Conservatives have raised concerns that the council’s vision of boosting Bath’s economy with new high-tech and creative industries could be in jeopardy if it does not act to secure similar broadband investment for the city.
They have pressed the authority’s Liberal Democrat Cabinet to work with the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership and set out plans to deliver ultrafast broadband in the area.
Rural areas in the South West could miss out on having faster internet access by 2015, despite government plans. The Country Land and Business Association says the process of providing broadband is too bureaucratic and the funding is too slow
Burnham-on-Sea will become the latest town in the West Country to benefit from high-speed broadband. It's been included in the latest roll-out of fibre optic cables announced by British Telecom. The work will take place next year as part of a 2.5 billion pound investment across the UK.