South Gloucestershire: 'Solid case' for fast broadband

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A survey of internet users in South Gloucestershire has provided a "solid case" for installing superfast broadband, the council has said.

The local authority has £2.2m to invest in areas currently ignored by commercial providers.

The majority of survey respondents reported download speeds of between 0.6 and 2 Mbps. More than a third said they wanted speeds of more than 20 Mbps.

A total of 27% of residents surveyed were willing to pay more for it.

Areas flagged up as having poor speeds or no connection were Bradley Stoke South, Hanham, Severn, Thornbury South and Alveston, and Westerleigh.

South Gloucestershire Council has already joined forces with councils in Wiltshire and Swindon in an effort to attract potential bidders for the project, and said the survey results showed high demand.

'Great strides'

A total of 3,728 residents and 248 businesses were questioned in the council survey.

Almost half the businesses would like superfast access, with one in five prepared to pay more for an improved connection.

Councillor John Goddard said: "We have made great strides towards enhancing access to superfast broadband in South Gloucestershire under the government's BDUK scheme and this research is the latest step towards realising our aims.

"The figures demonstrate that there is a solid business case for investing in areas not usually considered attractive to commercial providers and they should be of considerable interest to commercial providers as we begin the procurement process."

The BDUK scheme includes a £710,000 government grant as well as the local authority's contribution.

The council has said the money would mean 90% of homes in the region would be able to access networks at up to 24Mbps.

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