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Lichfield and Burntwood residents urged to back superfast broadband bid

People living and working in Lichfield and Burntwood are being urged to show their demand for faster, more reliable broadband.

A demand registration survey is being launched this week following a £7.5m investment by Staffordshire County Council to ensure every property in Staffordshire has access to basic broadband and at least 90 per cent have access to superfast broadband by mid-2015.

Cllr Mark Winnington said: “It is very important that people complete the survey so that we know where the untapped demand is for superfast broadband and can demonstrate this to providers.

“When people visit our survey page online, they can find out more information about why this project is so significant and the impact it will have on increasing opportunity and prosperity in Staffordshire.

“Superfast broadband enables people to have access to business, education, health and leisure they need for everyday living. This is an investment which will see a positive return for Staffordshire by 2015.”

County councillor Winnington said that his aspiration is that ninety percent of premises will have access to broadband speeds of 24 mbps or more.

The new demand survey can be found at

Last month the Government approved the county council’s broadband project plan. While the Government has agreed to match-fund local broadband improvement plans, this is dependent on projects securing funding. Cabinet members agreed that they needed to invest where it mattered and not allow Staffordshire to be held back any longer.

Government’s approval of the local broadband plan for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent is a major milestone as it means the project can move to the next stage of taking on a supplier which will install the infrastructure.

The county council is also looking for ‘broadband champions’ across Staffordshire who will spread the word about the project in their communities and how people will benefit. Broadband champions will also be asked to help identify the demand for faster broadband in their areas – and to help provide paper copies of the demand survey to people in their community who can’t complete it online.

By the end of 2012 a company will have been selected to carry out the project with work set to begin by spring 2013. Currently there are 178,000 properties across Staffordshire without basic broadband (at least 2 mbps) and the chosen supplier must ensure that all properties have access to basic broadband, and ninety percent able to access superfast speeds, by mid-2015.

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