Villagers urged to join broadband scheme

MORE villagers in Crow country are being urged to register their interest in superfast broadband internet.

Two county councillors, Linda Oliver and Susan van de Ven, are encouraging people living in their wards to register with the Connecting Cambridgeshire project, which aims to provide superfast broadband to 90 per cent of the county by 2015.

Cllr Oliver, who represents Bassingbourn and the surrounding villages, has already successfully campaigned to get BT to upgrade three broadband boxes in Bassingbourn, and attended parish council meetings in Litlington and Steeple Morden this week to speak on the matter.

She said: “Not having good broadband speeds is something which affects so many different people. We have farmers who are having to upload their tax returns and are doing so using dial-up connections.

“There are also a lot of people living in this area who work in the City of London, and will work from home one or two days a week, so they need excellent speeds too.”

So far only 9.5 per cent of eligible homes in Litlington have expressed an interest in receiving superfast broadband, while in Steeple Morden the number is 12 per cent.

“We need lots more to get those numbers up,” said Cllr Oliver.

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So far there has been a similarly low level of interest shown in the Melbourn ward, which is represented by Cllr van de Ven. In Meldreth 9.4 per cent of homes are registered, with 16.2 per cent in Heydon, 18.3 per cent in Shepreth and 24.2 per cent in the Chishills.

Cllr van de Ven said: “This compares with up to 99 per cent in other Cambridgeshire villages, and it is to those other villages that work will be directed first because of the clearer sign of a receptive market.

“The project has attracted some controversy, but now that public money has been committed to it, it seems only sensible to get our share of the benefits.”

To register, simply log on to the Connecting Cambridgeshire website, www.connectingcambridge