SAY YES TO BETTER BROADBAND
November 27 2012.
A campaign urging the public to register its support for a better broadband service across East Sussex has been launched this week. 'Go e-sussex' is an initiative led by East Sussex County Council (ESCC) to give everyone in the county access to faster, more reliable broadband.
Currently only 3% of homes and businesses in East Sussex have access to high-speed broadband, (24Mbps and over), compared with 58% nationally, making it one of the poorest served areas in the country.
With the 'Go e-sussex' campaign, ESCC is hoping that thousands of people across the county who are disadvantaged by slow or lack of broadband access will sign up. A significant number of registrations will demonstrate high levels of demand to the telecoms industry. This will help ESCC attract investment from potential broadband suppliers, ultimately helping homes and businesses in the county who are suffering from poor internet access and speed.
As part of the campaign, Cllr. Chris Dowling, ESCC Chairman, and Cllr. David Rogers, ESCC member for Newhaven and Ouse Valley West, visited Harwood King Fine Art Studios in Newhaven.
Cllr. Rogers said: "Newhaven is an important industrial and employment area in East Sussex with many types of businesses, particularly manufacturing. These businesses need superfast broadband so they can compete on a level playing field with those in other parts of the world."
Harwood King produces high quality prints from original artwork, using classic silk-screening methods as well as high definition digital printing. Owner, Quentin Harwood, explained how his business is severely hampered by the poor broadband service to his premises.
"The digital printing side of the business is itching to expand, but we just haven't got the capability to send and receive large image files. We are managing to get around the problem by using a remote server, but this means that we cannot work on large files in-house. We work with artists all over the world, many in countries that are supposedly less developed than ours, but it always seems to be me who has problems uploading and downloading. We're in an industrial area of East Sussex, so we should have a decent broadband service.
"However, I am encouraged that someone now seems to be tackling the problem and I'm really pleased that East Sussex County Council is putting in so much effort to help businesses and households get the broadband service that we need to be able to compete with the rest of the world."
Cllr. Chris Dowling, said: "Getting faster broadband across the whole of East Sussex is a priority for the Council, as it is absolutely vital to the local economy. Businesses of all shapes and sizes, urban and rural, need fast, reliable broadband to survive and thrive.
"I call on everyone working and living in East Sussex to show their support, as we need significant numbers of registrations to attract investment from potential broadband suppliers in the county. You can register online at www.goesussex.co.uk or request a paper copy on 01273 335991."
ESCC has secured funding to work with a telecoms partner to install the necessary infrastructure across the county. However, it is too costly for these companies to invest unless they know that there is a strong demand for superfast broadband.
Enhancing the digital provision will make East Sussex a far more accessible place to live and work. It will mean having a fast, reliable internet service, regardless of where you live; the ability to access online services quickly and easily, being able to work from home without worrying about losing your connection to your colleagues and clients. It will attract new business into the county and boost the local economy.
Over the coming months the 'Go e-sussex' project team will be communicating the benefits of superfast broadband and gathering evidence of demand. The focal point is the dedicated website where residents and businesses can find out more information about broadband in their area and register their demand for a faster service. There will also be regular news updates about the project and frequently asked questions about broadband.
Registering your interest does not mean you will have to subscribe to the service when it's launched, but saying "Yes to superfast broadband" will directly help everyone in East Sussex receive faster, more reliable broadband.
You can visit the new dedicated website to complete the online registration form at www.goesussex.co.uk or phone 01273 335991 if you require a paper copy. This new website also features information and news updates about the project and Frequently Asked Questions about broadband.
Tell your friends, family and colleagues about 'Go e-sussex' so they can register their interest for faster broadband.
Pictured L to R: Chris Dowling, David Rogers, Quentin Harwood.