Better broadband: update

From Amanda Fitzaden-Gray:

Ronnie Moncrieff and I recently had a very positive meeting with local MP Victoria Atkins, ELDC Councillor Craig Leyland and Steve Brookes from onLincolnshire.

Steve updated us on the current situation and highlighted the current challenges being faced regarding the rollout of superfast broadband in the rural areas. Moving more specifically to the Kirkby on Bain area, we highlighted just how crucial fast broadband was to the local school and local business.

We explained that the Internet represents a lifeline in our day to day lives,  and pointed to a range of current problems, from buffering during school lessons and children’s inability to research homework, to difficulties with online booking of routine appointments and repeat prescriptions. Online grocery ordering had also increased since the reduction in the village bus service timetable.

It was reported that tourism was being adversely affected and for anyone working from home, the upload speed was insufficient to keep virtually any server open.

As we were aware, BT are beginning phase 2 of the rollout process but we were disappointed to hear that although we were part of it, completion was likely to be by the end of September 2017. We said this was too far away and asked advice on how this timescale could be reduced.

It seems there are two feasible options.  The first would be to wait patiently for the BT rollout, but the completion date of 30 September 2017 was unacceptable to us.  The second was a wireless service, which has been very successfully installed locally in Minting and Gautby and could be a sensible option for Kirkby on Bain.  The cost of this option was discussed and we were told that installation could be funded via onLincolnshire.

It was suggested that there should be a village consultation regarding these two options.  Steve Brookes advised us that he had received some information in the previous 24 hours which would clarify the timescales of the fibre proposition.

We agreed that this information would be required prior to making our informed decision at any consultation meeting. Steve agreed that he would update us by 20 May with details of these important findings.

Amanda Fitzaden-Gray DipPFS Associate Partner Fitzaden-Gray Wealth Management, St. James’s Place Wealth Management
01526 354932 | 0798 4426966

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