- Monday, 04 March 2013 17:09
Residents, businesses and community groups are invited to an open evening in Bakewell on Wednesday 20 March to find out how high speed broadband could benefit them.
This is one of a series of community broadband events being held by a partnership of Peak District businesses, local authorities and community organisations to stimulate demand for faster broadband in the area.
The open evening will highlight why high speed broadband is important for local businesses and home-users, and the options for rural communities to develop a local high speed broadband solution of their own.
Chair of Business Peak District Jim Harrison said:
"Enhancing broadband speeds is a top priority for us and essential to maintaining an enterprising and sustainable rural economy. We want rural businesses to get involved in this project and work with local residents to help improve the situation locally."
Councillor Lewis Rose OBE, Leader of Derbyshire Dales District Council, said:
"Faster broadband is a must in rural areas. As more services move 'online', people need it to access job vacancies and training opportunities, entertainment and information about local services, and to do their banking and take bookings and orders. While these services are taken for granted in urban areas, rural areas are in danger of being left behind."
Jim Dixon, chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority, said:
"We'd really like individuals or groups to volunteer as community broadband champions and help push this forward in their own communities. We will give information, advice and, where we can, practical support to help the Peak District get up to speed."
At the event, people can find out about successful community broadband projects, the challenges of progressing community initiatives and sources of funding. They can also volunteer as community broadband champions.
Councillor Kevin Parkinson, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said:
"We know there is a huge appetite for better broadband across the county and we've made it one of our priorities to deliver it.
The greater demand we can show for better broadband in Derbyshire – both from households and businesses – the more interest and investment we are likely to attract, and the greater impact Digital Derbyshire will have across the county."
The next phase of the project will work with interested communities to progress local schemes.
The project is funded by the Peak District LEADER Programme and managed by the Peak District National Park Authority. It is supported by a partnership of Business Peak District, Peak District National Park Authority, Derbyshire Dales District Council, High Peak Borough & Staffordshire Moorlands District Councils, Derbyshire & Staffordshire County Councils, Rural Action Derbyshire and Derbyshire Dales CVS.