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Village broadband fears are played down

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 27, 2014

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A MULTI-MILLION pound roll-out of superfast broadband could miss part of a village near Burton, it is feared.

Councillors in Tutbury have raised concerns that the village could be left in the dark, claiming there was ‘no certainty’ that all residents would get to enjoy superfast internet speeds.

More than £14 million has been pumped into ensuring 97 per cent of households in Staffordshire will be able to receive 24 megabits per second (mps) connection speeds by 2016, but there are now fears some people in Tutbury could be among the unlucky few to miss out.

Councillor Andrew Allen told members of Tutbury Parish Council at its latest public meeting that, following queries from the authority, he had been informed that it was uncertain whether ‘all relevant locations would be served by the new network’.

But Staffordshire County Council said it expected Tutbury to be included in the plan and that it would aim to improve broadband speeds via ‘alternative methods’ in areas that superfast broadband does not reach.

The parish council claims to have been privy to a document that maps out areas which are likely to receive the service.

Parish councillor Susan Adams said: “There are certain parts of Tutbury which appear to have been left off, which has raised concerns among parish councillors.”

Last year, Staffordshire County Council approved £7.44 million towards the plan, with Broadband Delivery UK to match the authority’s contribution.

It is hoped the fibre-based broadband package will strengthen the county’s economy by helping to attract inward investment and improve productivity.

Residents will also benefit from improved access to services, online payment systems, internet banking and shopping.

When the deal was announced, county council cabinet member for environment and assets Mark Winnington said: “So many residents and small businesses rely on the internet for work and leisure.

“We recognised the crucial importance of superfast broadband and that is why we are investing in the superfast speed for Staffordshire.”

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