Support for the Connecting Cambridgeshire campaign, which is aiming to bring superfast broadband to the entire county, is growing.
Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council are urging people to sign up before the end of the year, when data on the level of support from across the country will be passed to large network providers, who will then decide where to invest.
In Peterborough and the surrounding villages 2,322 people have signed up, representing 15.68 per cent of the total who have registered across the county (14,805).
The councils say these numbers are still climbing faster than surrounding counties.
But to keep the momentum going they are also embarking on a leaflet drop, targeting areas with slow broadband speeds to tell residents, businesses, parishes and communities where there is a demand for 25mps to get involved.
An event for Broadband Champions is also being held at the Town Hall, giving people an opportunity to receive a project update and meet other Broadband Champions and local councillors.
The Connecting Cambridgeshire campaign has been launched because Peterborough’s villages, along with some areas in the city including Hampton, Sugar Way and Orton Southgate, can only get broadband speeds of less than 1mb per second – making it difficult to download web content and videos.
Sugar Way resident Karen Gilgan said: “I tried to watch Usain Bolt’s 100m on YouTube. A 46-second video clip took me nearly two minutes to watch and it buffered six times, it is very annoying. I’d like to watch educational videos with my two year old daughter but it is impossible.
“I did a speed test and I can only download 0.53mb per second as opposed to the 25mb per second you can get with superfast broadband.
“I really hope as many people as possible sign the online petition so that everyone in the city can receive superfast broadband.”
Vivacity Library and Customer Services Manager Heather Walton said that while the Central library’s broadband speed is good others in the area are not so impressive.
She said: “The library service operates at least 115 public access machines across the city from Thorney out to Orton; with Central Library having the most machines and business.
“In the last four months we have had over 68,000 sessions on our computers across the city, with 48,000 of them being here at the Central Library.
“At Central we are fortunate in that we have a 100mps download speed and an upload speed of 30mps, so we don’t suffer with any significant slowdown even when our 30 odd staff PCs are going along with 55 public network computers.
“Our branches obviously run a lot slower, but have far less traffic; our slowest connection speeds are at Thorney and Eye which both run on a 2mps connection, so they would really benefit from having super speed broadband.
“I am supporting the scheme as access to information and increasingly to more things that will only be able to be done online (e.g. the government wanting to move from paper applications for a start) for the whole community is vital.
“As a librarian I am passionate about empowerment through information. I do have my reservations regarding integrity on the internet and see a real place for libraries as information specialists to help people make the most of what is out there.”
Registration only takes 20 seconds and all that is required is your postcode, landline number and if you are a home or business user. This does not commit you to a contract of any kind.
Visit www.connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk to check your broadband speed and register your support.