Norfolk MP urges remote villages across rural Norfolk to embrace innovative wireless broadband solution
14th September 2012
It is great news that faster broadband for Norfolk is one step closer with the recent announcement by Norfolk County Council of it awarding the £30m rural Broadband contract to BT. But a ‘one size fits all’ approach may struggle to reach our remote villages located away from exchanges, preventing them from benefiting immediately from the broadband upgrade. This is why I continue to support additional innovative solutions to work alongside this scheme, such as the WiSpire initiative, to bring better broadband to all of my constituency.
WiSpire is an ideal example of how small rural Norfolk villages that have a church and at least 25 households can get hold of faster broadband access within 3 months; and one I saw firsthand when I visited Beeston Church this week. It delivers high speed wireless broadband internet to local businesses, schools and residents in areas where speed would otherwise be poor. Improving internet access is essential to Norfolk’s future, unlocking opportunities for on-line shopping and banking, setting up and operating businesses in rural Norfolk and making it easier to stay in touch with family and friends. This is why I have campaigned for the last 4 years in support of the Eastern Daily Press and Norfolk County Council’s Say Yes to Better Broadband in Norfolk drive.
TheWiSpire initiative is a joint venture between the Diocese and FreeClix. All a village needs is 25 customers wanting the service and help from a council to cover the one-off installation fee of c£2k. This means all the villages in my constituency could potentially have fast broadband for less than £200k, a great value solution for most rural areas!
Access to fast broadband is so important to the small businesses that keep our rural economy vibrant. Beeston Church is a great example of a traditional parish church using its position in the centre of Norfolk village life (and its height!) to beam out broadband signals to the local villages and play an integral part in bringing twenty first century benefits to our rural communities. This is why I urge villagers in my Mid Norfolk constituency to get in touch with me to see if they too can benefit from WiSpire’s innovative new solution to rural broadband.