Boston businesses urged to add their voice to better broadband campaign

HUNDREDS of businesses in Boston are being urged to add their voice to a Broadband Means Business campaign to help bring superfast service to the town.

The Boston Standard and the team behind the OnLincolnshire project are calling on more businesses to register at in a bid to improve online access in the county.

When the campaign launched last week there were 52 businesses in Boston which had registered, calling for poor connectivity to be improved. The goal is to get 10,000 businesses across Lincolnshire to register with the OnLincolnshire website by November – meaning every single firm in Boston has a role to play. The list of businesses will then be used to lobby service providers to put a better infrastructure in place, helping to secure digital freedom in the town.

Standard editor Stephen Stray said: “I would urge as many businesses as possible to sign up to this campaign – the more who do the louder our voice will be heard.

“Superfast internet is important to countless businesses, especially in an area as rural as ours.”

The OnLincolnshire initiative is part of Lincolnshire County Council’s Lincolnshire Broadband Plan, which aims to bring next-generation broadband (a minimum of 24Mbps) to 90 per cent of county premises and a guarantee of at least 2Mbps by 2015. A pot of public and private sector cash worth around £57 million will be invested in a better service, including £10m from the county council and £4m from the district councils.

The Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Institute of Directors (IoD) are also helping to spread the word.

Simon Beardsley, chief executive at the chamber, said: “The business community in Boston will see huge benefits once there is better broadband provision in the area. All they need to do to help get to that point is to take just a couple of minutes and register with to help bring that provision here.

“Even if you already work in an area which has good broadband, this is a chance to support the wider community and help those which operate in the so-called ‘not-spots’.”

Michael Self, development manager for Lincolnshire at the FSB, added: “We have a fantastic opportunity right now to revolutionise communications in Boston and the rest of Lincolnshire through the Broadband Means Business initiative from OnLincolnshire.

“We have the funding already in place – usually the hardest part – all we need do now is to prove to the service providers that there is the demand here for advanced broadband. There’s no commitment, just an expression of interest, and so I would call on all local businesses to go onto the website now and register.

“Let’s make Boston the place to do business by bringing advanced broadband here as soon as possible.”

l Businesses with little or no broadband access can register on a public network computer at their local library or by completing a form which is available from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, the IoD and the FSB, or by calling Lincolnshire County Council’s customer service department on 01522 782006 and giving their details.