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Cutting-edge broadband for Colchester could benefit rural areas
Campaigners have welcomed the announcement of cutting-edge broadband ser- vices for Colchester, which could also be extended to rural areas.
Millions of pounds of investment, and hundreds of extra jobs, are expected as a result of the town offering faster and cheaper broadband connections.
Plans are in place to offer wireless access across Colchester town centre, using existing CCTV cables.
Nigel Myers, enterprise and tourism manager at Colchester Council, said it would be a three-pronged approach.
“We have to concentrate on the town centre first and we are initially looking at a mobile solution, called Wireless City, and a company called the Cloud is, from this month, implementing that,” he said.
“You will be able to access whatever you want using smart phones when you are in the town centre.”
Mr Myers said the second part would be focusing on increasing broadband speeds for businesses in the centre of Colchester, with the hope of this being in place by the end of the year, and finally bringing this across the borough to include the more rural areas.
“It is very much our intention for this to happen and wherever we can get faster broadband for those areas, then we will,” he added.
“It won’t involve putting up major aerials, it will be discreet and on top of council buildings where possible.
“We realise something needs to be done as it has been an immense problem. I have heard of people who have got their own satellites installed to improve their broadband access.”
Johann Tasker, of Little Horkesley (pictured left) is one of those who bought a satellite system two years ago.
“It was too expensive, so I have been working from a dongle,” he said.
“I am about to move to Suffolk and I don’t suppose it will be any better there. I really welcome the idea that it will improve in these areas as it can make working from home virtually impossible.
It is hoped the increase in speed will also benefit people living in other outlying rural areas.
Sally Smith, of the Country Land Business Association, said it had heard from people living in villages, including Langham, West Bergholt, Wormingford, Marks Tey and Stoke-by-Nayland, who were desperate for improvements to be made.
The Countryside Alliance has also welcomed news the Government has allocated more than £300million to improve broadband connections. Essex and Southend-on-Sea, Thurrock, has been allocated £6.5million.