Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting EJ NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Slow broadband speeds spark barrage of complaints
SMALL business owners across Worcestershire have been “bombarding” the body which represents them with gripes over slow internet connections, it has emerged.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which has about 2,000 members across the county, says hordes of them continuously complain about the ponderous broadband speeds.
Now, regional FSB chairman Ken Wigfield has hailed the new £20 million deal to bring superfast broadband to 55,000 homes and businesses as “tremendous” for the economy.
He said: “Over the last few years it’s fair to say we’ve been bombarded with complaints over this.
“There was a guy who runs a business dealing with Hollywood, and said his broadband was so slow he’d have to leave his office at home, get into his car, drive to a mate’s house to do some work, then get in his car and go all the way back again.
“We also hear from businesses who have superfast broadband, and we see the massive difference it makes.The opportunities to grow businesses as a result of this project are absolutely massive.
“I know for a fact we’ve already had businesses leave – or refuse to join – Worcestershire due to a lack of superfast broadband speeds.
“They go elsewhere because they cannot function without it. This scheme will bring huge growth.”
Under the deal, between Worcestershire County Council and BT, by June 2016 90 per cent of properties will get superfast broadband.
At the moment urban centres like much of Worcester and Redditch can get the speeds, but rural areas cannot.
Just over 30 per cent of the county cannot get the speeds at the moment, according to estimates from County Hall.
Speeds of 80 megabytes per second will be achievable, enough to download large files, music and films and flick through pages instantly.
As your Worcester News has revealed, the investment is also expected to lead to 1,000 jobs being created by private employers due to orders being fulfilled more quickly.
A timetable will be available by the autumn detailing which areas will get the superfast cables, and when.