Bath and North East Somerset Council is to eschew the BDUK part funded drive towards a goal of 90% with superfast broadband and everyone else getting 2 Mbps or better.The Keynsham People carries the news that the council believes the current plan on offer which would see the council spending £1 million of its own money on top of perhaps £670,000 BDUK funding is too expensive.
One stumbling block mentioned was the requirement for a survey to find out how many had computers, something that many councils seem to be doing without much trouble. SurveyMonkey which some councils have used allows unlimited questions and responses for £299 a year.
The council is not giving up on broadband but is investing £25,000 to look at other ways to improve internet access across the area.
Bath has FTTC available from Kingsmead exchange in the city centre, and south of the River Avon Virgin Media provides coverage, people connected to Combe Down exchange are restricted to ADSL2+ from O2 and TalkTalk. Saltford has Virgin Media cable services as does Keynsham which also has ADSL2+ from TalkTalk. So while a large number of residents have superfast available from Virgin Media, if your property is not served by cable TV already then it is not likely to be coming to you.
There are a number of people in the village here who work from home and they need a reliable broadband connection.
We are not out in the sticks, we are right next to Bath and we have people here who are grateful when they manage to negotiate 0.1 Mbps to 0.5 Mbps.
What we are left with now is a gulf between the people in rural areas and those in urban areas.
We have got great swathes of B&NES which are absolutely pitiful and my concern is that this study is not going to be able to address that situation."David Batho, chair of Claverton Parish Council
The above quote sums up the situation that many people around the UK will be used to experiencing, the danger for any council is that as other nearby areas upgrade infrastructure, home owners and more importantly businesses will not consider the area to move to, and even worse businesses may relocate to areas with better infrastructure.